ABSTRACT: It has been reported that N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-triggered neurotoxicity is related to excessive Ca(2+) loading and an increase in nitric oxide (NO) concentration. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie these events are not completely understood. NMDARs and neuronal NO synthase each binds to the scaffolding protein postsynaptic density (PSD)-93 through its PDZ domains. In this study, we determined whether PSD-93 plays a critical role in NMDAR/Ca(2+)/NO-mediated neurotoxicity. We found that the targeted disruption of the PSD-93 gene attenuated the neurotoxicity triggered by NMDAR activation, but not by non-NMDAR activation, in cultured mouse cortical neurons. PSD-93 deficiency reduced the amount of NMDAR subunits NR2A and NR2B in synaptosomal fractions from the cortical neurons and significantly prevented NMDA-stimulated increases in cyclic guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate and Ca(2+) loading in the cortical neurons. These findings indicate that PSD-93 deficiency could block NMDAR-triggered neurotoxicity by disrupting the NMDAR-Ca(2+)-NO signaling pathway and reducing expression of synaptic NR2A and NR2B. Since NMDARs, Ca(2+), and NO play a critical role during the development of brain trauma, seizures, and ischemia, the present work suggests that PSD-93 might contribute to molecular mechanisms of neuronal damage in these brain disorders.
Project description:The N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor (NMDAR), long implicated in developmental plasticity, shows decay time kinetics that shorten postnatally as NR2A subunits are added to the receptor. Neither the mechanism nor immediate effect of this change is known. We studied developing NMDAR currents by using visual neurons in slices from NR2A knockout (NR2AKO) and WT mice. Both strains show increased dendritic levels of synaptic density scaffolding protein PSD-95 with age. Dendritic levels of NR2A increased at the same time in WT and immunoprecipitated with PSD-95. PSD-95NMDAR binding was significantly decreased in the NR2AKO. Moreover, NMDAR miniature currents (minis) were lost and rise times of NMDAR evoked currents increased in mutant mice. Age-matched WT cells showed NR2A-rich receptors predominating in minis, yet slow NR2B mediated currents persisted in evoked currents. Disrupting photoreceptor activation of retinal ganglion cells eliminated increases in PSD-95 and NR2A in superior collicular dendrites of WT mice and slowed the loss of miniature NMDAR currents in NR2AKOs. These data demonstrate that NMDARs that respond to single quantal events mature faster during development by expressing the NR2A subunit earlier than NMDARs that respond to evoked release. We hypothesize that NR2A-rich NMDARs may be localized to the center of developing synapses by an activity-dependent process that involves the targeting of PSD-95 to the postsynaptic density. Neonatal receptors become restricted to perisynpatic or extrasynaptic sites, where they participate primarily in evoked currents.
Project description:In cerebral cortex there is a developmental switch from NR2B- to NR2A-containing NMDA receptors (NMDARs) driven by activity and sensory experience. This subunit switch alters NMDAR function, influences synaptic plasticity, and its dysregulation is associated with neurological disorders. However, the mechanisms driving the subunit switch are not known. Here, we show in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons that the NR2B to NR2A switch driven acutely by activity requires activation of NMDARs and mGluR5, involves PLC, Ca(2+) release from IP(3)R-dependent stores, and PKC activity. In mGluR5 knockout mice the developmental NR2B-NR2A switch in CA1 is deficient. Moreover, in visual cortex of mGluR5 knockout mice, the NR2B-NR2A switch evoked in vivo by visual experience is absent. Thus, we establish that mGluR5 and NMDARs are required for the activity-dependent NR2B-NR2A switch and play a critical role in experience-dependent regulation of NMDAR subunit composition in vivo.
Project description:The NR2 subunit composition of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) varies during development, and this change is important in NMDAR-dependent signaling. In particular, synaptic NMDAR switch from containing mostly NR2B subunit to a mixture of NR2B and NR2A subunits. The pathways by which neurons differentially traffic NR2A- and NR2B-containing NMDARs are poorly understood. Using single-particle and -molecule approaches and specific antibodies directed against NR2A and NR2B extracellular epitopes, we investigated the surface mobility of native NR2A and NR2B subunits at the surface of cultured neurons. The surface mobility of NMDARs depends on the NR2 subunit subtype, with NR2A-containing NMDARs being more stable than NR2B-containing ones, and NR2A subunit overexpression stabilizes surface NR2B-containing NMDARs. The developmental change in the synaptic surface content of NR2A and NR2B subunits was correlated with a developmental change in the time spent by the subunits within synapses. This suggests that the switch in synaptic NMDAR subtypes depends on the regulation of the receptor surface trafficking.
Project description:In neuronal synapses, PDZ domains [postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95)/Discs large/zona occludens-1] of PSD-95 proteins interact with C termini of NMDA receptor [NMDAR (NR)] subunits, linking them to downstream neurotoxic signaling molecules. Perturbing NMDAR/PSD-95 interactions with a Tat peptide comprising the nine C-terminal residues of the NR2B subunit (Tat-NR2B9c) reduces neurons' vulnerability to excitotoxicity and ischemia. However, NR subunit C termini may bind many of >240 cellular PDZs, any of which could mediate neurotoxic signaling independently of PSD-95. Here, we performed a proteomic and biochemical analysis of the interactions of all known human PDZs with synaptic signaling proteins including NR1, NR2A-NR2D, and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS). Tat-NR2B9c, whose interactions define PDZs involved in neurotoxic signaling, was also used. NR2A-NR2D subunits and Tat-NR2B9c had similar, highly specific, PDZ protein interactions, of which the strongest were with the PSD-95 family members (PSD-95, PSD-93, SAP97, and SAP102) and Tax interaction protein 1 (TIP1). The PSD-95 PDZ2 domain bound NR2A-NR2C subunits most strongly (EC50, approximately 1 microM), and fusing the NR2B C terminus to Tat enhanced its affinity for PSD-95 PDZ2 by >100-fold (EC50, approximately 7 nM). IC50 values for Tat-NR2B9c inhibiting NR2A-NR2C/PSD-95 interactions (approximately 1-10 microM) and nNOS/PSD-95 interactions (200 nM) confirmed the feasibility of such inhibition. To determine which of the PDZ interactions of Tat-NR2B9c mediate neuroprotection, one of PSD-95, PSD-93, SAP97, SAP102, TIP1, or nNOS expression was inhibited in cortical neurons exposed to NMDA toxicity. Only neurons lacking PSD-95 or nNOS but not PSD-93, SAP97, SAP102, or TIP1 exhibited reduced excitotoxic vulnerability. Thus, despite the ubiquitousness of PDZ domain-containing proteins, PSD-95 and nNOS above any other PDZ proteins are keys in effecting NMDAR-dependent excitotoxicity. Consequently, PSD-95 inhibition may constitute a highly specific strategy for treating excitotoxic disorders.
Project description:Glutamate-induced delayed calcium dysregulation (DCD) is causally linked to excitotoxic neuronal death. The mechanisms of DCD are not completely understood, but it has been proposed that the excessive influx of external Ca(2+) is essential for DCD. The NMDA-subtype of glutamate receptor (NMDAR) and the plasmalemmal Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger operating in the reverse mode (NCX(rev)) have been implicated in DCD. In experiments with "younger" neurons, 6-8 days in vitro (6-8 DIV), in which the NR2A-containing NMDAR expression is low, ifenprodil, an inhibitor of NR2B-containing NMDAR, completely prevented DCD whereas PEAQX, another NMDAR antagonist that preferentially interacts with NR2A-NMDAR, was without effect. With "older" neurons (13-16 DIV), in which NR2A- and NR2B-NMDARs are expressed to a greater extent, both ifenprodil and PEAQX applied separately failed to prevent DCD. However, combined application of ifenprodil and PEAQX completely averted DCD. Ifenprodil and ifenprodil-like NR2B-NMDAR antagonists Ro 25-6981 and Co 101244 but not PEAQX or AP-5 inhibited gramicidin- and Na(+)/NMDG-replacement-induced increases in cytosolic Ca(2+) mediated predominantly by NCX(rev). This suggests that ifenprodil, Ro 25-6981, and Co 101244 inhibit NCX(rev). The ability of ifenprodil to inhibit NCX(rev) correlates with its efficacy in preventing DCD and emphasizes an important role of NCX(rev) in DCD. Overall our data suggest that both NR2A- and NR2B-NMDARs are involved in DCD in "older" neurons, and it is necessary to inhibit both NMDARs and NCX(rev) to prevent glutamate-induced DCD.
Project description:N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NMDARs) play a central role in development, synaptic plasticity, and neurological disease. NMDAR subunit composition defines their biophysical properties and downstream signaling. Casein kinase 2 (CK2) phosphorylates the NR2B subunit within its PDZ-binding domain; however, the consequences for NMDAR localization and function are unclear. Here we show that CK2 phosphorylation of NR2B regulates synaptic NR2B and NR2A in response to activity. We find that CK2 phosphorylates NR2B, but not NR2A, to drive NR2B-endocytosis and remove NR2B from synapses resulting in an increase in synaptic NR2A expression. During development there is an activity-dependent switch from NR2B to NR2A at cortical synapses. We observe an increase in CK2 expression and NR2B phosphorylation over this same critical period and show that the acute activity-dependent switch in NR2 subunit composition at developing hippocampal synapses requires CK2 activity. Thus, CK2 plays a central role in determining the NR2 subunit content of synaptic NMDARs.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Zinc distributes widely in the central nervous system, especially in the hippocampus, amygdala and cortex. The dynamic balance of zinc is critical for neuronal functions. Zinc modulates the activity of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) through the direct inhibition and various intracellular signaling pathways. Abnormal NMDAR activities have been implicated in the aetiology of many brain diseases. Sustained zinc accumulation in the extracellular fluid is known to link to pathological conditions. However, the mechanism linking this chronic zinc exposure and NMDAR dysfunction is poorly understood.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We reported that chronic zinc exposure reduced the numbers of NR1 and NR2A clusters in cultured hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Whole-cell and synaptic NR2A-mediated currents also decreased. By contrast, zinc did not affect NR2B, suggesting that chronic zinc exposure specifically influences NR2A-containg NMDARs. Surface biotinylation indicated that zinc exposure attenuated the membrane expression of NR1 and NR2A, which might arise from to the dissociation of the NR2A-PSD-95-Src complex.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Chronic zinc exposure perturbs the interaction of NR2A to PSD-95 and causes the disorder of NMDARs in hippocampal neurons, suggesting a novel action of zinc distinct from its acute effects on NMDAR activity.
Project description:The development of glutamatergic synapses involves changes in the number and type of receptors present at the postsynaptic density. To elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying these changes, we combine in utero electroporation of constructs that alter the molecular composition of developing synapses with dual whole-cell electrophysiology to examine synaptic transmission during two distinct developmental stages. We find that SAP102 mediates synaptic trafficking of AMPA and NMDA receptors during synaptogenesis. Surprisingly, after synaptogenesis, PSD-95 assumes the functions of SAP102 and is necessary for two aspects of synapse maturation: the developmental increase in AMPA receptor transmission and replacement of NR2B-NMDARs with NR2A-NMDARs. In PSD-95/PSD-93 double-KO mice, the maturational replacement of NR2B- with NR2A-NMDARs fails to occur, and PSD-95 expression fully rescues this deficit. This study demonstrates that SAP102 and PSD-95 regulate the synaptic trafficking of distinct glutamate receptor subtypes at different developmental stages, thereby playing necessary roles in excitatory synapse development.
Project description:Considerable evidence indicates that the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) subunits NR2A and NR2B are critical mediators of synaptic plasticity and dendritogenesis; however, how they differentially regulate these processes is unclear. Here we investigate the roles of the NR2A and NR2B subunits, and of their scaffolding proteins PSD-95 and SAP102, in remodeling the dendritic architecture of developing hippocampal neurons (2-25 DIV). Analysis of the dendritic architecture and the temporal and spatial expression patterns of the NMDARs and anchoring proteins in immature cultures revealed a strong positive correlation between synaptic expression of the NR2B subunit and dendritogenesis. With maturation, the pruning of dendritic branches was paralleled by a strong reduction in overall and synaptic expression of NR2B, and a significant elevation in synaptic expression of NR2A and PSD95. Using constructs that alter the synaptic composition, we found that either over-expression of NR2B or knock-down of PSD95 by shRNA-PSD95 augmented dendritogenesis in immature neurons. Reactivation of dendritogenesis could also be achieved in mature cultured neurons, but required both manipulations simultaneously, and was accompanied by increased dendritic clustering of NR2B. Our results indicate that the developmental increase in synaptic expression of PSD95 obstructs the synaptic clustering of NR2B-NMDARs, and thereby restricts reactivation of dendritic branching. Experiments with shRNA-PSD95 and chimeric NR2A/NR2B constructs further revealed that C-terminus of the NR2B subunit (tail) was sufficient to induce robust dendritic branching in mature hippocampal neurons, and suggest that the NR2B tail is important in recruiting calcium-dependent signaling proteins and scaffolding proteins necessary for dendritogenesis.
Project description:Hunger evokes foraging. This innate response can be quantified as voluntary wheel running following food restriction (FR). Paradoxically, imposing severe FR evokes voluntary FR, as some animals choose to run rather than eat, even during limited periods of food availability. This phenomenon, called activity-based anorexia (ABA), has been used to identify brain changes associated with FR and excessive exercise (EX), two core symptoms of anorexia nervosa (AN), and to explore neurobiological bases of AN vulnerability. Previously, we showed a strong positive correlation between suppression of FR-evoked hyperactivity, i.e., ABA resilience, and levels of extra-synaptic GABA receptors in stratum radiatum (SR) of hippocampal CA1. Here, we tested for the converse: whether animals with enhanced expression of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) exhibit greater levels of FR-evoked hyperactivity, i.e., ABA vulnerability. Four groups of animals were assessed for NMDAR levels at CA1 spines: (1) ABA, in which 4 days of FR was combined with wheel access to allow voluntary EX; (2) FR only; (3) EX only; and (4) control (CON) that experienced neither EX nor FR. Electron microscopy revealed that synaptic NR2A-NMDARs and NR2B-NMDARs levels are significantly elevated, relative to CONs'. Individuals' ABA severity, based on weight loss, correlated with synaptic NR2B-NMDAR levels. ABA resilience, quantified as suppression of hyperactivity, correlated strongly with reserve pools of NR2A-NMDARs in spine cytoplasm. NR2A- and NR2B-NMDAR measurements correlated with spinous prevalence of an F-actin binding protein, drebrin, suggesting that drebrin enables insertion of NR2B-NMDAR to and retention of NR2A-NMDARs away from synaptic membranes, together influencing ABA vulnerability.