NMDA receptors (NMDARs) activation in the hippocampus and insular cortex is necessary for spatial memory formation. Recent studies suggest that localization of NMDARs to lipid rafts enhance their signalization, since the kinases that phosphorylate its subunits are present in larger proportion in lipid raft membrane microdomains. We sought to determine the possibility that NMDAR translocation to synaptic lipid rafts occurs during plasticity processes such as memory formation. Our results show that water maze training induces a rapid recruitment of NMDAR subunits (NR1, NR2A, NR2B) and PSD-95 to synaptic lipid rafts and decrease in the post-synaptic density plus an increase of NR2B phosphorylation at tyrosine 1472 in the rat insular cortex. In the hippocampus, spatial training induces selective translocation of NR1 and NR2A subunits to lipid rafts. These results suggest that NMDARs translocate from the soluble fraction of post-synaptic membrane (non-raft PSD) to synaptic lipid raft during spatial memory formation. The recruitment of NMDA receptors and other proteins to lipid rafts could be an important mechanism for increasing the efficiency of synaptic transmission during synaptic plasticity process.
- Lipid raft
- NMDA receptor
- Post-synaptic density
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience