Modulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor function by glycine transport

Richard Bergeron, Torsten M. Meyer, Joseph T. Coyle, Robert W. Greene

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Abstract

The recent discovery of glycine transporters in both the central nervous system and the periphery suggests that glycine transport may be critical to N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function by controlling glycine concentration at the NMDAR modulatory glycine site. Data obtained from whole- cell patch-clamp recordings of hippocampal pyramidal neurons, in vitro, demonstrated that exogenous glycine and glycine transporter type 1 (GLYT1) antagonist selectively enhanced the amplitude of the NMDA component of a glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic current. The effect was blocked by 2- amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid and 7-chloro-kynurenic acid but not by strychnine. Thus, the glycine-binding site was not saturated under the control conditions. Furthermore, GLYT1 antagonist enhanced NMDAR function during perfusion with medium containing 10 μM glycine, a concentration similar to that in the cerebrospinal fluid in vivo, thereby supporting the hypothesis that the GLYT1 maintains subsaturating concentration of glycine at synaptically activated NMDAR. The enhancement of NMDAR function by specific GLYT1 antagonism may be a feasible target for therapeutic agents directed toward diseases related to hypofunction of NMDAR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15730-15734
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume95
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 22 1998

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