Expression of non-NMDA glutamate receptor channel genes by clonal human neurons

Mattie Hardy, Donald Younkin, Cha Min Tang, Jeanette Pleasure, Qing Yao Shi, Margaret Williams, David E Pleasure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Treatment of the human teratocarcinoma line NTera2/c1.D1 (NT2) with retinoic acid induces terminal neuronal differentiation. In a previous study, we found that the neurons obtained in this way express functional N-methyl- D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA glutamate receptor channels. We now show by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Southern blotting that these neurons transcribe each of the nine known non-NMDA glutamate receptor genes (GluR1-7, Ka-1, and Ka-2) and that four of these genes (GluR2, GluR6, GluR7, and Ka-1) are also transcribed by undifferentiated NT2 cells. Patch clamp studies demonstrate that individual non-NMDA glutamate receptor channels are readily isolated from NT2-derived neurons and that these channels are potently modulated by the desensitization blocker cyclothiazide. NT2-derived neurons are susceptible to kainate excitotoxicity but are not injured by prolonged exposure to α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4- isoxazolepropionate. We expect that the NT2-derived human neuronal culture system will facilitate studies of human neuronal non-NMDA glutamate receptor channels and of the pathophysiology of neuronal excitotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-489
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • α-Amino-3- hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate
  • Cell culture
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Glutamate receptor channels
  • Kainate
  • Neurons
  • Patch clamp
  • Reverse transcriptase- polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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