Desensitization of the NMDA receptor complex by glycinergic ligands in cerebellar granule cell cultures.

Laboratory of Neuroscience, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.
Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.83). 02/1993; 603(2):207-14. DOI: 10.1016/0006-8993(93)91239-O
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Glutamate neurotoxicity was examined in cultured cerebellar granule neurons following both prolonged (20-24 h) and brief (45 min) exposure to compounds acting at strychnine-insensitive glycine receptors. Glutamate neurotoxicity was reduced in a concentration-dependent fashion by brief exposure to the glycine partial agonists 1-aminocyclopropanecarboxylic acid (ACPC) and (+-)-3-amino-1-hydroxy-2-pyrrolidone (HA-966) and the competitive antagonist, 7-chlorokynurenic acid (7-CK) with a rank order efficacy: 7-CK > HA-966 > ACPC. Neither D-cycloserine (D-CS) nor glycine affected neurotoxicity produced by maximum glutamate concentrations, while glycine but not D-CS augmented the effects of submaximum glutamate concentrations. Prolonged exposure of cultures to either full (glycine) or partial agonists (ACPC, D-CS, HA-966) abolished the neuroprotective effects of ACPC and significantly diminished the neuroprotective effects of HA-966. In contrast, the neuroprotective effects of 7-CK were only marginally reduced by prolonged exposure to glycinergic ligands, while the neuroprotection afforded by compounds acting at other loci on the NMDA receptor complex (e.g. 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate (APV) and dizocilpine (MK-801)) were unaltered. These effects may represent homologous desensitization of the NMDA receptor complex at its strychnine-insensitive glycine receptor induced by prolonged exposure to glycinergic agonists and partial agonists. Nonetheless, levels of the NMDA receptor subunit zeta 1 mRNA were unaffected by prolonged exposure to ACPC, indicating the apparent desensitization could involve a post-translational modification of the NMDA receptor complex.

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