Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Neurobiol. 1996 Feb;12(1):1-11.

Ionotropic glutamate receptors. Their possible role in the expression of hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

Author information

Institute of Physiology, Göteborg University, Sweden.


In the brain, most fast excitatory synaptic transmission is mediated through L-glutamate acting on postsynaptic ionotropic glutamate receptors. These receptors are of two kinds--the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA)/kainate (non-NMDA) and the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which are thought to be colocalized onto the same postsynaptic elements. This excitatory transmission can be modulated both upward and downward, long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), respectively. Whether the expression of LTP/LTD is pre-or postsynaptically located (or both) remains an enigma. This article will focus on what postsynaptic modifications of the ionotropic glutamate receptors may possibly underly long-term potentiation/depression. It will discuss the character of LTP/ LTD with respect to the temporal characteristics and to the type of changes that appears in the non-NMDA and NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic currents, and what constraints these findings put on the possible expression mechanism(s) for LTP/LTD. It will be submitted that if a modification of the glutamate receptors does underly LTP/LTD, an increase/ decrease in the number of functional receptors is the most plausible alternative. This change in receptor number will have to include a coordinated change of both the non-NMDA and the NMDA receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center