Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2005 Aug 12;280(32):29322-33. Epub 2005 Jun 20.

N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subtype mediated bidirectional control of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) stimulation activates many downstream mechanisms involved in both cell survival and cell death. The manner in which the NMDAR regulates one of these pathways, the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38) pathway, is currently unknown. In the present study, we have defined a developmental-, concentration-, and time-dependent phosphorylation and subsequent dephosphorylation of p38. In cultured hippocampal neurons 7-8 days in vitro (DIV7-8), NMDAR stimulation leads to a concentration-dependent increase in p38 phosphorylation (phospho-p38). However, in more mature neurons (>DIV17) application of NMDA produces concentration-dependent effects, such that low concentrations result in sustained increases in phospho-p38 levels, and high concentrations dephosphorylate p38 within 5 min. Conantokin G, an antagonist of NR1/2A/2B and NR1/2B receptors, inhibits p38 phosphorylation, while NR1/2B-specific antagonists prevent the rapid dephosphorylation of p38 without affecting p38 activation. Furthermore, inhibition of calcineurin prevents the activation of p38, whereas inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) prevents the rapid dephosphorylation of p38. Our results support the presence of subtype-dependent pathways regulating p38 activation and deactivation: one involves NR1/2A/2B receptors activating calcineurin and resulting in p38 phosphorylation, and the other utilizes NR1/2B receptors binding to and activating PI3K and leading to the dephosphorylation of p38 in a manner involving both NR1/2A/2B receptor activation and tyrosine phosphorylation of NR2B. The ability of NMDAR subtype-specific mechanisms to regulate p38 has implications for NMDAR-mediated synaptic plasticity, gene regulation, and excitotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center