The Glutamate Receptors

Part of the series The Receptors pp 99-158

Kainate Receptors

  • Anis Contractor
  • , Geoffrey T. Swanson

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Kainate receptors are glutamate-gated ion channels whose functional roles in the brain have been only poorly understood until recently. A picture has developed over the last decade of kainate receptors as subtle actors in neurotransmission; they modulate excitatory and inhibitory transmission and neuronal excitability and generate small but prolonged depolarizations at a subset of postsynaptic sites. This chapter reviews a variety of aspects of kainate receptor function, including their structure, biophysical function, and activities in (and out) of synapses in the mammalian brain.

Key Words

Glutamate ligand-gated ion channel excitatory synaptic transmission synaptic plasticity mossy fiber RNA editing