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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2003 Jun;13(3):366-71.

Opposing roles of synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDA receptors in neuronal calcium signalling and BDNF gene regulation.

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Signalisation Neuronale et Régulations Géniques, CNRS/UPMC, UMR 7102 9, Paris, France.


Neuronal responses to electrical activity-induced calcium signals are specified by the localization of the calcium entry site and the spatial properties of the calcium transient. Calcium flux through NMDA receptors located in the synapse initiates changes in synaptic efficacy and promotes pro-survival events, whereas calcium flux through extrasynaptic NMDA receptors is coupled to cell death pathways. The dialogue between the synaptic NMDA receptors and the nucleus is also modulated by extrasynaptic NMDA receptors, which shut down activity of CRE-binding protein (CREB) and antagonize the increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression induced by synaptic NMDA receptors. The specification of the biological response by the localization of the receptor activated is a new concept in neuronal calcium signalling that can explain many of the opposing roles of NMDA receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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