Developmental Dynamics of Gene Expression for NMDA Receptor Channel

  • Masahiko Watanabe
Part of the The Receptors book series (REC)


The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor channel is one of the three major subtypes of glutamate receptor (GluR) channel, which mediates most of the fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system (CNS) (Curtis and Watkins, 1963; Mayer and Westbrook, 1987). Characteristic features of the NMDA receptor channel are high Ca++ permeability and voltage dependent block by Mg++ (Ascher and Nowak, 1987). The NMDA receptor channel plays a key role in the activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus, which is thought to underlie memory acquisition and learning (Collingridge and Bliss, 1987; Sakimura et al., 1995). Overstimulation of the channel leads to neuronal cell loss in acute and chronic brain disorders (Choi, 1988). Furthermore, cumulative evidence suggests involvement in neural development (Kleinschmidt et al., 1987; McDonald and Johnston, 1990), including experience-dependent synaptic plasticity (Raushecker and Harn, 1987; Tsumotoetal., 1987; McCabe and Horn, 1988; Lincoln et al., 1988), neuronal migration (Komuro and Rakic, 1993), and synaptic refinement (Constantine-Paton et al., 1990; Rabacchi et al., 1992; Lewin et al., 1994; Scheetz and Constantine-Paton, 1994).


NMDA Receptor Purkinje Cell Olfactory Bulb Receptor Subunit Cerebellar Granule Cell 
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© Humana Press Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiko Watanabe

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