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Neuroreport. 1993 Jun;4(6):671-4.

NMDA-activated currents in Bergmann glial cells.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg, Germany.


NMDA receptors play a crucial role in synaptic plasticity of the central nervous system and were thought to be exclusive to neurones. In this study we provide evidence that Bergmann glial cells from mouse cerebellar slices show intrinsic responses to NMDA. As in neurones, NMDA increased membrane conductance and the responses were blocked by the NMDA antagonist ketamine, but not by the non-NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist CNQX. In contrast to responses in neurones, the current voltage relation of the glial NMDA-induced current was linear, reversed at -40 mV, currents were not blocked by Mg2+ or enhanced by glycine and NMDA did not induce an increase in cytosolic Ca2+ as recorded with a fura-2 imaging system. These data imply the presence of distinct NMDA receptors on Bergmann glial cells; these glial receptors could be the substitute for complex neurone-glia interactions in the cerebellum.

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