In cultured spinal neurons, NMDA receptors are absent from excitatory synapses under basal conditions, but can be made to appear at excitatory synapses following blockade of excitatory synaptic activity. The activity dependent synaptic localization of NMDA receptors is critically dependent on both the gradual, global accumulation of the NR2A and NR2B subunits and on a rapid, surface redistribution phase that is primed by the accumulation of NR2A and NR2B and inhibited by synaptic activity. Global changes in NR2A and NR2B accumulation and heterogeneous increases in synaptic NMDA receptor localization can also result from inhibitors of proteasomal processing, from manipulations of proteasomal subunit composition and from media conditioned by neurons undergoing synaptic scaling. While proteasomal processing is a mechanism shared with AMPA receptor scaling in cultured spinal neurons, diffusible factors, heterogeneity, and a rapid surface redistribution phase appear to be unique to activity dependent synaptic NMDA receptor localization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology