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Trends Neurosci. 2003 Feb;26(2):81-9.

The Yin and Yang of NMDA receptor signalling.

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  • 1Department of Preclinical Veterinary Sciences, Royal School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh University, Summerhall, UK.


Ca(2+) entry through the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptors has the power to determine whether neurons survive or die. Too much NMDA receptor activity is harmful to neurons - but so is too little. Is it a case of too much or too little Ca(2+) influx causing cell death or do other factors, such as receptor location or receptor-associated proteins, play a role? Understanding the mechanisms behind this dichotomous signalling is an important area of molecular neuroscience with direct clinical implications.

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