Kindling, Prenatal Exposure to Ethanol and Postnatal Development Selectively Alter Reponses of Hippocampal Pyramidal Cells to NMDA
Research that built upon the discovery by Collingridge and his colleagues (1983) that the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) requires activation of the NMDA receptor has led to the realization that many higher brain phenomena depend on activation of the NMDA receptor. LTP is regarded as one of the key cellular events that links experience to memory and learning. Thus several groups have sought and obtained evidence that the NMDA receptor must be activated for certain types of associative learning to occur (Morris et al., 1986; Lincoln et al., 1988; Mondadori et al., 1989). Activation of the NMDA receptor appears to be a prerequisite also for experience-dependent modifications of neuronal response properties in the developing visual cortex (Kleinschmidt et al., 1987) and for the induction of stimulus train-induced bursting, a cellular homologue of epileptogenesis (Anderson et al., 1987). It can even influence the morphological (Pearce et al., 1987; Brewer and Cotman, 1989) and biochemical (Moran and Patel, 1989) differentiation of neurons. These effects are believed to result from a substantial entry of Ca2+ through the NMDA receptor channel, which occurs if the plasma membrane is sufficiently depolarized at the time of receptor activation (Ascher and Nowak, 1987). Although these forms of neuronal plasticity depend for their induction on activation of the NMDA receptor, there is as yet no evidence of any role for this receptor in the endurance or permanence of the change. In fact, LTP at the Schaffer collteral-commissural synapse in hippocampal area CAl has been shown to result from a long-lasting increase in the quisqualate receptor-mediated component of the EPSP, with little or no change in the NMDA receptor-mediated component (Kauer et al., 1988; Muller and Lynch, 1988; Davies et al., 1989).
KeywordsNMDA Receptor Pyramidal Cell Excitatory Amino Acid NMDA Receptor Antagonist Prenatal Exposure
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