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Nat Neurosci. 2011 Mar;14(3):338-44. doi: 10.1038/nn.2750. Epub 2011 Feb 6.

NR3A-containing NMDARs promote neurotransmitter release and spike timing-dependent plasticity.

Author information

1
Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that presynaptic-acting NMDA receptors (preNMDARs) are important for neocortical synaptic transmission and plasticity. We found that unique properties of the NR3A subunit enable preNMDARs to enhance spontaneous and evoked glutamate release and that NR3A is required for spike timing-dependent long-term depression in the juvenile mouse visual cortex. In the mature cortex, NR2B-containing preNMDARs enhanced neurotransmission in the absence of magnesium, indicating that presynaptic NMDARs may function under depolarizing conditions throughout life. Our findings indicate that NR3A relieves preNMDARs from the dual-activation requirement of ligand-binding and depolarization; the developmental removal of NR3A limits preNMDAR functionality by restoring this associative property.

PMID:
21297630
PMCID:
PMC3474337
DOI:
10.1038/nn.2750
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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