Neurochemical Research

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 38–48 | Cite as

Alteration in NMDA Receptor Mediated Glutamatergic Neurotransmission in the Hippocampus During Senescence

  • Ashok KumarEmail author
  • Thomas C. FosterEmail author
Original Paper


Glutamate is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter in neurons and glia. N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), and kainate receptors are major ionotropic glutamate receptors. Glutamatergic neurotransmission is strongly linked with Ca2+ homeostasis. Research has provided ample evidence that brain aging is associated with altered glutamatergic neurotransmission and Ca2+ dysregulation. Much of the work has focused on the hippocampus, a brain region critically involved in learning and memory, which is particularly susceptible to dysfunction during senescence. The current review examines Ca2+ regulation with a focus on the NMDA receptors in the hippocampus. Integrating the knowledge of the complexity of age-related alterations in Ca2+ homeostasis and NMDA receptor-mediated glutamatergic neurotransmission will positively shape the development of highly effective therapeutics to treat brain disorders including cognitive impairment.


Aging Calcium homeostasis Hippocampus Glutamatergic neurotransmission N-Methyl-d-aspartate receptor Synaptic function LTP LTD 



Supported by National Institute of Aging Grants R37AG036800, RO1049711, RO1037984, and RO1052258 and the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Foundation. This work was partially supported by the University of Florida Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (P30-AG028740).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience, McKnight Brain InstituteUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Genetics and Genomics ProgramUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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