Non-ionotropic signaling by the NMDA receptor: Controversy and opportunity [version 1; referees: 2 approved]

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6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Provocative emerging evidence suggests that the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor can signal in the absence of ion flux through the receptor. This non-ionotropic signaling is thought to be due to agonist-induced conformational changes in the receptor, independently of channel opening. Non-ionotropic NMDA receptor signaling has been proposed to be sufficient to induce synaptic long-term depression (LTD), directly challenging the decades-old model that prolonged low-level calcium influx is required to induce LTD. Here, we briefly review these recent findings, focusing primarily on the potential role of non-ionotropic signaling in NMDA receptor-mediated LTD. Further reports concerning additional roles of non-ionotropic NMDA receptor signaling are also discussed. If validated, this new view of NMDA receptor-mediated signaling will usher in an exciting new era of exploring synapse function and dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1010
JournalF1000Research
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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