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Journal of Neural Transplantation and Plasticity
Volume 2 (1991), Issue 2, Pages 101-111

Effects of Glutamate and γ-Aminobutyric Acid on Spontaneously Active Intraocular Spinal Cord Graft Neurons

Department of Neurological Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA

Copyright © 1991 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pieces of fetal rat lumbar spinal cord were transplanted into the anterior eye chamber of adult rat hosts. At least seven months later, extracellular single-unit recordings of spontaneously active graft neurons were made prior to and during the superfusion of either glutamate or γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Superfusion of glutamate produced an increase (five cells), decrease (three cells), or had no effect (two cells) on the firing rate of neurons tested. Superfusion of GABA decreased the firing rate of all twelve neurons tested, while superfusion of the GABA receptor antagonist bicuculline increased the firing rates of all eight neurons tested. The latency and magnitude of the responses to glutamate and GABA were not related to depth of the recording electrode below the graft surface. Together, these data suggest that the intraocular spinal cord graft is suitable for the in vivo study of GABA and glutamate neuropharmacology.