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Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2010 Aug;30(6):901-7. doi: 10.1007/s10571-010-9519-7. Epub 2010 Apr 23.

NMDA receptors are expressed in lymphocytes activated both in vitro and in vivo.

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Department of Biochemistry, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119992, Moscow, Russia.


There is increasing evidence showing that the interplay between neuronal and immune systems may be regulated by neuromediators. However, little is known about the involvement of glutamatergic system in such neuro-immune relations. In the present study, we have shown that some intact lymphocytes express N-methyl-D: -aspartate activated receptors (NMDA receptors), an important constituent of glutamatergic system. The activation of lymphocytes with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) induces a time-dependent increase in the amount of NMDA receptor presenting cells, and NMDA stimulates this process. Immune response of such lymphocytes is suppressed and the amount of cells producing interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) in vitro is decreased to the level corresponding to intact (non-activated) cells. Furthermore, lymphocytes in the region of inflammation, induced by spinal cord injury (SCI), are also NMDA-positive. We suggest that expression of NMDA receptors in lymphocytes is regulated by central nervous system, which controls the inflammation process.

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