NMDA receptor-independent control of transcription factors and gene expression.

Laboratory of Neurobiology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, NC 27709, USA.
Neuroreport (Impact Factor: 1.64). 09/2009; 20(16):1429-33. DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283311db6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Consolidation of synaptic plasticity seems to require transcription, but how the nucleus is informed in this context remains unknown. As NMDA receptor antagonists have been shown to interfere with action potential generation, the issue of whether or not a synaptically generated signal is required for nuclear signaling is currently unresolved. Here, we show that pharmacological maintenance of action potentials during NMDA receptor blockade allows for NMDA receptor-independent transcription factor binding and arc gene expression, both of which were previously thought to be NMDA receptor dependent. These data suggest that types of signaling in the nucleus previously attributed to NMDA-receptor-dependent synapse-to-nucleus signals can be initiated in the absence of NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity.

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