NeuroMolecular Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 90–96 | Cite as

NMDA Receptor GluN2 Subtypes Control Epileptiform Events in the Hippocampus

  • Pradeep PunnakkalEmail author
  • Deity Dominic
Original Paper


NMDA receptors (NMDARs) play a key role in synaptic plasticity and excitotoxicity. Subtype-specific role of NMDAR in neural disorders is an emerging area. Recent studies have revealed that mutations in NMDARs are a cause for epilepsy. Hippocampus is a known focal point for epilepsy. In hippocampus, expression of the NMDAR subtypes GluN1/GluN2A and GluN1/GluN2B is temporally regulated. However, the pharmacological significance of these subtypes is not well understood in epileptic context/models. To investigate this, epilepsy was induced in hippocampal slices by the application of artificial cerebrospinal fluid that contained high potassium but no magnesium. Epileptiform events (EFEs) were recorded from the CA1 and DG areas of hippocampus with or without subtype-specific antagonists. Irrespective of the age group, CA1 and DG showed epileptiform activity. The NMDAR antagonist AP5 was found to reduce the number of EFEs significantly. However, the application of subtype-specific antagonists (TCN 201 for GluN1/GluN2A and Ro 25-69811 for GluN1/GluN2B) revealed that EFEs had area-specific and temporal components. In slices from neonates, EFEs in CA1 were effectively reduced by Ro 25-69811, but were largely insensitive to TCN 201. In contrast, EFEs in DG were equally sensitive to both of the subtype-specific antagonists. However, the differential sensitivity for the antagonists observed in neonates was absent in later developmental stages. The study provides a functional insight into the NMDAR subtype-dependent contribution of EFEs in hippocampus of young rats, which may have implications in treating childhood epilepsy and avoiding unnecessary side effects of broad spectrum antagonists.


Epileptiform events TCN 201 Ro 25-69811 GluN2A GluN2B and NMDA receptors 



We thank Dr. Anoopkumar T for the support, Dr. Shobi Veleri and Dr. Kalyanikutty K P for critically reading this manuscript and discussions, and Dr. John Dempster and Dr. William James Heitler for the software. This work was supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India (Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship to PP, No. BT/RLF/Re-entry/04/2012).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Medicine, Applied Biology, Biomedical Technology WingSree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and TechnologyTrivandrumIndia

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