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Pharmacol Ther. 1996;70(1):65-89.

New developments in the molecular pharmacology of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate and kainate receptors.

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  • 1MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology/Department of Zoology, Cambridge, UK.


Separation of non-N-methyl-D-aspartate subtypes of glutamate receptors, known as alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA) and kainate receptors, is traced through conventional pharmacology to molecular biology. The physiology and pharmacology of recombinant receptor subtypes (GluR1-7 and KA1-2) are described. Competitive antagonists, e.g., the quinoxalinedione, 2,3-dihyroxy-6-nitro-7-sulphamoyl-benz(F)quinoxaline, and the decahydroisoquinoline, 3S,4aR,6R, 8aR-6-[2-(1(2)H-tetrazol-5-yl)ethyl]-decahydroisoquinolin e-3-carboxylate, have a broad antagonist spectrum, except that the latter is inactive on GluR6. The 2,3-benzodiazepines noncompetitively antagonise the AMPA receptor GluR1-4. Desensitisation of AMPA (GluR1-4) and kainate (GluR5-7 and KA1-2) receptors is blocked by cyclothiazide and concanavalin A, respectively. Polyamine toxins block AMPA receptors not containing GluR2 and unedited kainate receptors (GluR5-6). These data correlate well with results on native neurons characterised by techniques such as in situ hybridisation.

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