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Neuronal Lesioning with Axonally Transported Toxins
Journal of Neuroscience Methods (2000)
  • Robert H. Kline, IV, University of Kentuc
  • Ronald G Wiley, Vanderbilt University
Axonally transported toxins can be used to make selective lesions of the nervous system. Collectively, these techniques are termed 'molecular neurosurgery' because they exploit the surface molecular identity of neurons to selectively destroy specific types of neurons. Suicide transport, is anatomically selective but not type-selective. The most widely used suicide transport agents are the toxic lectins (ricin, volkensin) and the immunotoxin, OX7-saporin. The toxic lectins and saporin are ribosome inactivating proteins that irreversibly inhibit protein synthesis. The toxic lectins have binding subunits but saporin requires a targeting vector to gain entrance into cells. Immunolesioning uses monoclonal anti-neuronal antibodies to deliver saporin selectively into neurons that express a particular target surface antigen. Neuropeptide-saporin conjugates selectively destroy neurons expressing the appropriate peptide receptors. Notable experimental uses of these agents include analysis of the function of the cholinergic basal forebrain (192-saporin) and pain research (anti-DBH-saporin, substance P-saporin). It is likely that more immunolesioning and neuropeptide-toxin conjugates will be developed in the near future
  • Suicide transport; Immunolesioning; Saporin; Ribosome inactivating proteins; Molecular neurosurgery
Publication Date
November 15, 2000
Citation Information
Robert H. Kline and Ronald G Wiley. "Neuronal Lesioning with Axonally Transported Toxins" Journal of Neuroscience Methods Vol. 103 Iss. 1 (2000) p. 73 - 82
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