Quantitative analysis of MN loss in each experimental group. Number of healthy MNs in the ipsilateral and contralateral ventral horns in the infused spinal cord region and in the adjacent rostral region of rats treated as indicated, seven days after minipump implantation. Pyruvate and βHB notably prevented the AMPA-induced MN degeneration in the ipsilateral horn in both the infused and rostral regions, whereas ascorbate and GEE, alone or in combination (antioxidant mixture) were ineffective. Fifteen histological slices/rat/region were analyzed. Data are mean values ± SEM for the following number of rats in each group: control 7; AMPA 16; AMPA + Pyr 10; AMPA + βHB 10; AMPA + GEE 7; AMPA + ascorbate 8; AMPA + antioxidants mixture 8. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001 vs the corresponding side of the control group; #p < 0.05, ##p < 0.01, ###p < 0.001 vs the corresponding side of the AMPA group.