Electrophysiological Analysis of the Modulation of NMDA-Receptors Function by d-Serine and Glycine in the Central Nervous System

  • Fabrice Turpin
  • Glenn Dallérac
  • Jean-Pierre MothetEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 794)


The NMDA subtypes of glutamatergic receptors (NMDARs) are unusual in that their activation requires the binding of both glutamate and a co-agonist glycine or d-serine. Whereas glycine was first suggested to play such a role, it was later established that d-serine could serve as an endogenous co-agonist at different central synapses. We still do not know the exact nature of the endogenous co-agonist(s) of NMDARs and the function of the so-called glycine B site in many brain structures. We introduced few years ago the use of enzymes that specifically degrade either d-serine or glycine to decipher the influence of these amino acids on NMDA receptors function. The use of these enzymatic scavengers represents an invaluable technique for neurophysiologists investigating the neuromodulation of the glycine B site in the CNS. Here, we describe the proper way to manipulate these enzymes during electrophysiological recordings in acute brain slices and highlight the experimental tricks.

Key words

d-Serine Glycine NMDA receptors Co-agonist Synapse Neurons Astrocytes Recombinant oxidases Long term potentiation Glutamate 



This work was supported by ANR grant (ANR-09-MNPS-022-01) and SERVIER grant to JPM. The authors are grateful to their collaborators for their support and notably to Dr Silvia Sacchi and Prof. Loredano Pollegioni for graciously providing us with the enzymes.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabrice Turpin
    • 1
  • Glenn Dallérac
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jean-Pierre Mothet
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.NeuroCentre MagendieINSERM U862, and Université de BordeauxBordeauxFrance
  2. 2.NeuroCentre Magendie and Université de BordeauxBordeauxFrance
  3. 3.Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueUniversité de la MéditerranéeMarseilleFrance
  4. 4.Centre de Recherche en Neurobiologie et Neurophysiologie de MarseilleUniversité de la MéditerranéeMarseilleFrance

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