We obtained a neurotoxic fraction (AcTx) from star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) and studied its effects on GABAergic and glutamatergic transmission systems. AcTx had no effect on GABA/glutamate uptake or release, or on glutamate binding. However, it specifically inhibited GABA binding in a concentration-dependent manner (IC50= 0.89 μM). Video-electroencephalogram recordings demonstrated that following cortical administration of AcTx, animals showed behavioral changes, including tonic-clonic seizures, evolving into status epilepticus, accompanied by cortical epileptiform activity. Chemical characterization of AcTx showed that this compound is a nonproteic molecule with a molecular weight less than 500, differing from oxalic acid. This neurotoxic fraction of star fruit may be considered a new tool for neurochemical and neuroethological research. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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