Kainic acid

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Template:Chembox E number
Kainic acid[1]
IUPAC name (2S,3S,4S)-3-(carboxymethyl)-4-prop-1-en-2-ylpyrrolidine-2-carboxylic acid
Other names 2-Carboxy-3-carboxymethyl-4-isopropenyl-pyrrolidine
3D model (JSmol)
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Molar mass 213.23 g/mol
Appearance Crystalline needles
Melting point
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Kainic acid is a natural marine acid present in some algae. It is a specific agonist for the kainate receptor used as an ionotrophic glutamate receptor which mimicks the effect of glutamate. It is used in experiments to distinguish a receptor from the other ionotropic receptors for glutamate such as NMDA and AMPA, a.k.a. quisqualate.


In 1953, kainic acid was originally isolated from the red alga called "Kainin-sou"(海人草) or "Makuri" (Digenea simplex) in Japan. "Kainin-sou" is used as an anthelmintic in Japan.

Kainic acid is a potent central nervous system stimulant, and has been developed as the prototype neuroexcitatory amino acid for the induction of seizures in experimental animals, at a typical dose of 10-30 mg/kg in mice. Kainic acid is neuroexcitotoxic and epileptogenic, acting through specific kainate receptors. Because of the supply shortage in 2000, the price of kainic acid has risen significantly.


  • antiworming agent
  • neuroscience research
    • neurodegenerative agent
    • modeling of epilepsy and the neurological damage

caused by it to dendrites, synapses, and long-term memory in mice

See also


  1. Merck Index, 11th Edition, 5157

External links