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Current Molecular Medicine


ISSN (Print): 1566-5240
ISSN (Online): 1875-5666

Specific Roles of NMDA Receptor Subunits in Mental Disorders

Author(s): H. Yamamoto, Y. Hagino, S. Kasai and K. Ikeda

Volume 15, Issue 3, 2015

Page: [193 - 205] Pages: 13

DOI: 10.2174/1566524015666150330142807

open access plus


N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor plays important roles in learning and memory. NMDA receptors are a tetramer that consists of two glycine-binding subunits GluN1, two glutamate-binding subunits (i.e., GluN2A, GluN2B, GluN2C, and GluN2D), a combination of a GluN2 subunit and glycine-binding GluN3 subunit (i.e., GluN3A or GluN3B), or two GluN3 subunits. Recent studies revealed that the specific expression and distribution of each subunit are deeply involved in neural excitability, plasticity, and synaptic deficits. The present article summarizes reports on the dysfunction of NMDA receptors and responsible subunits in various neurological and psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, autoimmune-induced glutamatergic receptor dysfunction, mood disorders, and autism. A key role for the GluN2D subunit in NMDA receptor antagonist-induced psychosis has been recently revealed.

Keywords: GluN1, GluN2D, knockout mice, NMDA receptor subtype, phencyclidine, psychiatric disorders.

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