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Kainic acid

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style="background: #F8EABA; text-align: center;" colspan="2" Kainic acid[1]
CAS number 487-79-6
PubChem 10255
SMILES CC(=C)[C@H]1CN[C@@H]([C@H]1CC(=O)O)C(=O)O
Molecular formula C10H15NO4
Molar mass 213.23 g/mol
Melting point

215 °C (decomp.)

style="background: #F8EABA; text-align: center;" colspan="2" 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.


See alsoEdit


  1. Merck Index, 11th Edition, 5157

External linksEdit

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