alexa Extrasynaptic NMDARs oppose synaptic NMDARs by triggering CREB shut-off and cell death pathways.
Toxicology

Toxicology

Journal of Drug Metabolism & Toxicology

Author(s): Hardingham GE, Fukunaga Y, Bading H, Hardingham GE, Fukunaga Y, Bading H

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Abstract Here we report that synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors have opposite effects on CREB (cAMP response element binding protein) function, gene regulation and neuron survival. Calcium entry through synaptic NMDA receptors induced CREB activity and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene expression as strongly as did stimulation of L-type calcium channels. In contrast, calcium entry through extrasynaptic NMDA receptors, triggered by bath glutamate exposure or hypoxic/ischemic conditions, activated a general and dominant CREB shut-off pathway that blocked induction of BDNF expression. Synaptic NMDA receptors have anti-apoptotic activity, whereas stimulation of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors caused loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (an early marker for glutamate-induced neuronal damage) and cell death. Specific blockade of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors may effectively prevent neuron loss following stroke and other neuropathological conditions associated with glutamate toxicity. This article was published in Nat Neurosci and referenced in Journal of Drug Metabolism & Toxicology

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