Molecular Neurobiology of Glutamate Receptors

Molecular Neurobiology of Glutamate Receptors Excitatory amino acid receptors are currently regarded as the principal neurotransmitter receptors that mediate synaptic excitation in the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS). The first demonstration that acidic amino acids could act as excitatory neurotransmitters dates to the early 1950s and arose from experiments in which monosodium glutamate topically applied to motor cortex caused tonic convulsions (9 1 ) . Subsequently, experiments with single spinal cord and CNS neurons illustrated the direct depolarizing action of L-glutamate (Glu) and L-aspartate (70). Despite the considerable enthusiasm generated by the initial flurry of discoveries, a long period of skepticism about the possible transmitter role for these amino acids followed. GIu was deemed to have "too ubiquitous" a distribution and a rather high concentration in the brain to be a neurotransmitter. Today, Glu essentially satisfies the four main criteria for classification as a neurotransmitter: (a) presynaptic localization; (b) specific release by physiological stimuli in concentrations sufficiently high enough to elicit a postsynaptic response; (c) identical action to the endogenous transmitter including response to antagonists; and (d) the existence of mech­ anisms to terminate transmitter action rapidly (70, 1 52) . This review focuses primarily on the physiology and molecular biology of the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Physiology Annual Reviews

Molecular Neurobiology of Glutamate Receptors

Annual Review of Physiology, Volume 54 (1) – Mar 1, 1992

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1992 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0066-4278
eISSN
1545-1585
DOI
10.1146/annurev.ph.54.030192.002451
pmid
1314044
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Excitatory amino acid receptors are currently regarded as the principal neurotransmitter receptors that mediate synaptic excitation in the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS). The first demonstration that acidic amino acids could act as excitatory neurotransmitters dates to the early 1950s and arose from experiments in which monosodium glutamate topically applied to motor cortex caused tonic convulsions (9 1 ) . Subsequently, experiments with single spinal cord and CNS neurons illustrated the direct depolarizing action of L-glutamate (Glu) and L-aspartate (70). Despite the considerable enthusiasm generated by the initial flurry of discoveries, a long period of skepticism about the possible transmitter role for these amino acids followed. GIu was deemed to have "too ubiquitous" a distribution and a rather high concentration in the brain to be a neurotransmitter. Today, Glu essentially satisfies the four main criteria for classification as a neurotransmitter: (a) presynaptic localization; (b) specific release by physiological stimuli in concentrations sufficiently high enough to elicit a postsynaptic response; (c) identical action to the endogenous transmitter including response to antagonists; and (d) the existence of mech­ anisms to terminate transmitter action rapidly (70, 1 52) . This review focuses primarily on the physiology and molecular biology of the

Journal

Annual Review of PhysiologyAnnual Reviews

Published: Mar 1, 1992

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