Domoic Acid

L. G. Costa, G. Giordano, Michael Aschner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Domoic acid (DomA) is an excitatory amino acid that can accumulate in shellfish and finfish under certain environmental conditions. It is a potent neurotoxin. In humans and nonhuman primates, oral exposure to a few milligrams per kilogram DomA elicits gastrointestinal effects, whereas slightly higher doses cause neurological symptoms, seizures, memory impairment, and limbic system degeneration. In rodents, which appear to be less sensitive than humans or nonhuman primates, oral doses cause behavioral abnormalities (e.g., hindlimb scratching), followed by seizures and hippocampal degeneration. Similar effects are seen in other species (from sea lions to zebrafish), indicating that DomA exerts similar neurotoxic effects across species. The neurotoxicity of DomA is ascribed to its ability to interact and activate the (. S)-2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolyl) propionic acid/kainate receptors, a subfamily of receptors for the neuroexcitatory neurotransmitter glutamate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9780123851574
ISBN (Print)9780123851581
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Amnesic shellfish poisoning
  • AMPA/kainate receptors
  • Domoic acid
  • Glutamate
  • Hippocampus
  • Memory loss
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Neurotoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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