A Role of NMDA Receptors and Ca2+ Influx in Synaptic Plasticity in the Developing Visual Cortex

  • Tadaharu Tsumoto
  • Fumitaka Kimura
  • Ayahiko Nishigori
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 268)


Acidic amino acids, such as glutamate (Glu) and aspartate (Asp), are suggested to be excitatory transmitters in the visual cortex (Clark and Collins, 1976; Baughman and Gilbert, 1981; Tsumoto et al. 1986). Recent studies have demonstrated that synaptic receptors for Glu/Asp can be classified into at least three types, on the basis of their most sensitive agonists, i.e., 1) N-methylD-aspartate (NMDA)-preferring receptors, 2) kainate-preferring receptors and 3) quisqualatepreferring receptors (see Watkins and Evans, 1981 for review). In CAl area of the hippocampus, NMDA receptors have been shown to play a role in a form of synaptic plasticity, i.e., long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic efficacy probably by controlling entry of Ca2+ into postsynaptic sites (Collingridge et al., 1983; see Fagg et al., 1986; Bliss and Lynch, 1988; Cotman and Monagham, 1988 for review). In the cat’s visual cortex, Tsumoto and his associates (Tsumoto et al., 1987, 1988; Hagihara et al., 1988) have reported evidence suggesting that receptors of kainate/quisqualate types (non-NMDA receptors) are involved in geniculo- cortical synaptic transmission while NMDA receptors may play a role in synaptic plasticity in the developing visual cortex.


NMDA Receptor Visual Cortex Excitatory Amino Acid Test Shock Tetanic Stimulation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadaharu Tsumoto
    • 1
  • Fumitaka Kimura
    • 1
  • Ayahiko Nishigori
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurophysiology, Biomedical Research CenterOsaka University Medical SchoolKitaku, Osaka, 530Japan

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