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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1999 Sep;77(9):735-7.

Silent glutamatergic synapses in the mammalian brain.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, University of Bristol, United Kingdom.


Excitatory synaptic transmission in the mammalian brain is mediated primarily by alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors that are thought to be co-localized at individual synapses. However, recent electrophysiological and anatomical data suggest that the synaptic localization of AMPA and NMDA receptors may be independently regulated by neural activity. These data are reviewed here and the implications of these findings for the mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity are discussed.

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