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Neuropharmacology. 2007 Jan;52(1):71-6. Epub 2006 Aug 8.

Activation of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors is not required for NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression.

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Nancy Pritzker Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94304-5485, USA.


The triggering of both NMDA receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus requires a rise in postsynaptic calcium. A prominent hypothesis has been that the detailed properties of this postsynaptic calcium signal dictate whether LTP or LTD is generated by a given pattern of synaptic activity. Recently, however, evidence has been presented that the subunit composition of the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) determines whether a synapse undergoes LTP or LTD with NR2A-containing NMDARs triggering LTP and NR2B-containing NMDARs triggering LTD. In the present study, the role of NR2B-containing synaptic NMDARs in the induction of LTD in CA1 pyramidal cells has been studied using the selective NR2B antagonists, ifenprodil and Ro25-6981. While both antagonists reduced NMDAR-mediated synaptic currents, neither prevented induction of LTD. These results demonstrate that activation of NR2B-containing NMDARs is not an absolute requirement for the induction of LTD in the hippocampus.

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