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Neuropharmacology. 2001 Nov;41(6):650-63.

Mechanism and impact of allosteric AMPA receptor modulation by the ampakine CX546.

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  • 1Department of Membrane Biophysics, Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, D-37070, Goettingen, Germany.


Glutamate release at central synapses is transduced into a characteristic fast postsynaptic response by AMPA receptor gating and agonist affinity. The effect of two classes of modulators of AMPA receptor desensitization, the benzothiadiazides (cyclothiazide and IDRA 21) and the benzoylpiperidines (CX516 and CX546), were studied on gating kinetics of recombinant, native AMPA receptors and on synaptic currents. CX546 reduced the degree of desensitization more potently than CX516 or IDRA 21, but not as efficiently as cyclothiazide. In presence of CX516/CX546, desensitization of GluR2(flip) receptors was inhibited more than of GluR1(flip), whereas they had no effect upon response shape or conductance. CX546 increased agonist affinity threefold on nondesensitizing AMPA receptors by slowing agonist unbinding. Analysis of modulatory action suggests that, in contrast to cyclothiazide or IDRA 21, the Ampakine CX546 binds specifically to the agonist bound nondesensitized receptor, most likely acting by destabilizing the desensitized receptor conformation. All modulators tested showed higher efficiency on native receptors as compared to homomeric receptors. At the glutamatergic synapse, evoked synaptic amplitudes were weakly potentiated, while EPSC decay was slowed by nearly a factor of three in the presence of CX546 or cyclothiazide. In the presence of CX546, the current induced by short pulses of glutamate from recombinant GluR2 receptors decayed with a time course that was approximately twentyfold faster than EPSCs. The unique properties of CX546 may be beneficial for therapeutical use.

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