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Neurosci Lett. 1993 Oct 29;161(2):124-8.

Enhancement of the N-methyl-D-aspartate response in spinal dorsal horn neurons by cAMP-dependent protein kinase.

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Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Iowa State University, Ames 50011.


Glutamate-gated ion channels mediate excitatory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system and are involved in synaptic plasticity, neuronal development and excitotoxicity (5,24). These ionotropic glutamate receptors were classified according to their preferred agonists as AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid), KA (kainate), and NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors [Trends Pharmacol. Sci., 11 (1990) 25-33]. The present study of NMDA receptor channels expressed in acutely isolated spinal dorsal horn (DH) neurons of young rat reveals that they are subject to modulation through the adenylate cyclase cascade. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recording mode was used to examine the effect of adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKA) on the responses of DH neurons to NMDA. Whole-cell current response to NMDA was enhanced by 8 Br-cAMP, a membrane permeant analog of cAMP or by intracellular application of cAMP or catalytic subunit of PKA.

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