Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1998 Sep 18;60(1):21-7.

Biphasic changes in the levels of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-2 subunits correlate with the induction and persistence of long-term potentiation.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry and Centre for Gene Research, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.


N-Methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors (NMDAR) form ion channels made up of polypeptides from two classes of subunits; NR1 is obligatory for function whereas members of the NR2 class regulate the properties of the channel. Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission is an event largely dependent on NMDAR activation, and is studied as the primary cellular model of memory in the mammalian brain. While there has been a focus on non-NMDARs in mediating the expression of LTP, we report here biochemical evidence for plasticity of the NMDAR that is associated with LTP persistence in awake animals. Following the establishment of LTP in perforant path synapses of the dentate gyrus, we observed a rise in NR2B protein levels 48 h post-tetanus which was dependent upon activation of NMDARs during the tetanization, and which strongly correlated with the degree of LTP measured at this time-point. We also observed a transient increase in both NR2B and NR2A protein levels 20 min post-tetanus that returned to control levels by 4 h. These early increases were not observed in anaesthetized animals which do not sustain persistent LTP. Our data demonstrate a marked plasticity of NMDAR subunit expression, which may affect LTP persistence, as well as the subsequent ability to induce LTP at previously activated synapses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center