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J Neurochem. 2007 Jun;101(6):1672-84. Epub 2007 Mar 23.

Antagonistic effects of TrkB and p75(NTR) on NMDA receptor currents in post-synaptic densities transplanted into Xenopus oocytes.

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1
Laboratorio de Neurociencias, Universidad de Los Andes, Santiago, Chile.

Abstract

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor TrkB are essential regulators of synaptic function in the adult CNS. A TrkB-mediated effect at excitatory synapses is enhancement of NMDA receptor (NMDA-R)-mediated currents. Recently, opposing effects of TrkB and the pan-neurotrophin receptor p75(NTR) on long-term synaptic depression and long-term potentiation have been reported in the hippocampus. To further study the regulation of NMDA-Rs by neurotrophin receptors in their native protein environment, we micro-transplanted rat forebrain post-synaptic densities (PSDs) into Xenopus oocytes. One-minute incubations of oocytes with BDNF led to dual effects on NMDA-R currents: either TrkB-dependent potentiation or TrkB-independent inhibition were observed. Pro-nerve growth factor, a ligand for p75(NTR) but not for TrkB, produced a reversible, dose-dependent, TrkB-independent and p75(NTR)-dependent inhibition of NMDA-Rs. Fractionation experiments showed that p75(NTR) is highly enriched in the PSD protein fraction. Immunoprecipitation and pull-down experiments further revealed that p75(NTR) is a core component of the PSD, where it interacts with the PDZ3 domain of the scaffolding protein SAP90/PSD-95. Our data provide striking evidence for a rapid inhibitory effect of p75(NTR) on NMDA-R currents that antagonizes TrkB-mediated NMDA-R potentiation. These opposing mechanisms might be present in a large proportion of forebrain synapses and may contribute importantly to synaptic plasticity.

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