Protective action of idebenone against excitotoxic degeneration in cultured cortical neurons.

Bruno V, Battaglia G, Copani A, Sortino MA, Canonico PL, Nicoletti F.

Institute of Pharmacology,
School of Medicine, University of Catania, Italy.
Neurosci Lett 1994 Sep 12;178(2):193-6


The novel free radical scavenger and electron-trapping agent, idebenone, protects cultured cortical neurons against necrotic degeneration induced by either a brief exposure to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) or a prolonged exposure to kainate. As opposed to the NMDA receptor antagonist (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]- cyclohepten-5,10-imine hydrogen maleate (MK801), idebenone rescued cortical neurons even when applied 30 min after the NMDA pulse, suggesting that the drug interferes with the chain of toxic reactions triggered by an excessive stimulation of excitatory amino acid receptors.