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J Neurochem. 1992 Jan;58(1):204-11.

Presynaptic glutamate receptors regulate noradrenaline release from isolated nerve terminals.

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Program in Neurosciences, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.


The wide-ranging neuronal actions of excitatory amino acids, such as glutamate, are thought to be mediated mainly by postsynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptors. We now report the existence of presynaptic glutamate receptors in isolated nerve terminals (synaptosomes) prepared from hippocampus, olfactory bulb, and cerebral cortex. Activation of these receptors by NMDA or non-NMDA agonists, in a concentration-dependent manner, resulted in Ca(2+)-dependent release of noradrenaline from vesicular transmitter stores. The NMDA-stimulated release was potentiated by glycine and was blocked by Mg2+ and selective NMDA antagonists. In contrast, release stimulated by selective non-NMDA agonists was blocked by 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3- dione, but not by Mg2+ or NMDA antagonists. Our data suggest that the presynaptic glutamate receptors can be classified pharmacologically as both the NMDA and non-NMDA types. These receptors, localized on nerve terminals of the locus ceruleus noradrenergic neurons, may play an important role in interactions between noradrenaline and glutamate.

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