Long-term potentiation in the CA1 hippocampus induced by NR2A subunit-containing NMDA glutamate receptors is mediated by Ras-GRF2/Erk map kinase signaling.
ABSTRACT: NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs) are major contributors to long-term potentiation (LTP), a form of synaptic plasticity implicated in the process of learning and memory. These receptors consist of calcium-permeating NR1 and multiple regulatory NR2 subunits. A majority of studies show that both NR2A and NR2B-containing NMDARs can contribute to LTP, but their unique contributions to this form of synaptic plasticity remain poorly understood.In this study, we show that NR2A and NR2B-containing receptors promote LTP differently in the CA1 hippocampus of 1-month old mice, with the NR2A receptors functioning through Ras-GRF2 and its downstream effector, Erk Map kinase, and NR2B receptors functioning independently of these signaling molecules.This study demonstrates that NR2A-, but not NR2B, containing NMDA receptors induce LTP in pyramidal neurons of the CA1 hippocampus from 1 month old mice through Ras-GRF2 and Erk. This difference add new significance to the observation that the relative levels of these NMDAR subtypes is regulated in neurons, such that NR2A-containing receptors become more prominent late in postnatal development, after sensory experience and synaptic activity.
Project description:In the adult mouse hippocampus, NMDA receptors (NMDARs) of CA1 neurons play an important role in the synaptic plasticity. The location of NMDARs can determine their roles in the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP). However, the extrasynaptic NMDARs (ES-NMDARs) dependent LTP haven't been reported. Here, through the use of a 5-Hz stimulation and MK-801 (an irreversible antagonist of NMDARs) in the CA1 neurons of adult mice hippocampal slices, synaptic NMDARs were selectively inhibited and NMDAR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents were not recovered. We found that a robust LTP was induced by 3-train 100-Hz stimulation when the synaptic NMDARs and extrasynaptic NR2B containing NMDARs were blocked, but not in the any of the following conditions: blocking of all NMDARs (synaptic and extrasynaptic), blocking of the synaptic NMDARs, and blocking of the synaptic NMDARs and extrasynaptic NR2A-containing NMDARs. The results indicate that this LTP is ES-NMDARs dependent, and NR2B-containing ES-NMDARs modulates the threshold of LTP induction.
Project description:It is widely believed that long-term depression (LTD) and its counterpart, long-term potentiation (LTP), involve mechanisms that are crucial for learning and memory. However, LTD is difficult to induce in adult cortex for reasons that are not known. Here we show that LTD can be readily induced in adult cortex by the activation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs), after inhibition of glutamate uptake. Interestingly there is no need to activate synaptic NMDARs to induce this LTD, suggesting that LTD is triggered primarily by extrasynaptic NMDA receptors. We also find that de novo LTD requires the activation of NR2B-containing NMDAR, whereas LTP requires activation of NR2A-containing NMDARs. Surprisingly another form of LTD, depotentiation, requires activation of NR2A-containing NMDARs. Therefore, NMDARs with different synaptic locations and subunit compositions are involved in various forms of synaptic plasticity in adult cortex.
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:One major theory in learning and memory posits that the NR2B gene is a universal genetic factor that acts as rate-limiting molecule in controlling the optimal NMDA receptor's coincidence-detection property and subsequent learning and memory function across multiple animal species. If so, can memory function be enhanced via transgenic overexpression of NR2B in another species other than the previously reported mouse species? To examine these crucial issues, we generated transgenic rats in which NR2B is overexpressed in the cortex and hippocampus and investigated the role of NR2B gene in NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic plasticity and memory functions by combining electrophysiological technique with behavioral measurements. We found that overexpression of the NR2B subunit had no effect on CA1-LTD, but rather resulted in enhanced CA1-LTP and improved memory performances in novel object recognition test, spatial water maze, and delayed-to-nonmatch working memory test. Our slices recordings using NR2A- and NR2B-selective antagonists further demonstrate that the larger LTP in transgenic hippocampal slices was due to contribution from the increased NR2B-containing NMDARs. Therefore, our genetic experiments suggest that NR2B at CA1 synapses is not designated as a rate-limiting factor for the induction of long-term synaptic depression, but rather plays a crucial role in initiating the synaptic potentiation. Moreover, our studies provide strong evidence that the NR2B subunit represents a universal rate-limiting molecule for gating NMDA receptor's optimal coincidence-detection property and for enhancing memory function in adulthood across multiple mammalian species.
Project description:Abnormalities in NMDA receptor (NMDAR) function have been implicated in schizophrenia. Here, we show that dysbindin, a schizophrenia-susceptibility gene widely expressed in the forebrain, controls the surface expression of NMDARs in a subunit-specific manner. Imaging analyses revealed a marked increase in surface NR2A, but not NR2B, in hippocampal neurons derived from dysbindin-null mutant mice (Dys-/-). Exogenous expression of dysbindin reduced NR2A surface expression in both wild-type and Dys-/- neurons. Biotinylation experiments also revealed an increase in surface expression of endogenous NR2A in Dys-/- neurons. Disruption of the dysbindin gene dramatically increased NR2A-mediated synaptic currents, without affecting AMPA receptor currents, in hippocampal CA1 neurons. The Dys-/- hippocampal slices exhibited an enhanced LTP, whereas basal synaptic transmission, presynaptic properties, and LTD were normal. Thus, dysbindin controls hippocampal LTP by selective regulation of the surface expression of NR2A. These results reveal subunit-specific regulation of NMDARs by dysbindin, providing an unexpected link between these two proteins implicated in schizophrenia.
Project description:The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR), a major excitatory ligand-gated ion channel in the central nervous system (CNS), is a principal mediator of synaptic plasticity. Here we report that neuropilin tolloid-like 1 (Neto1), a complement C1r/C1s, Uegf, Bmp1 (CUB) domain-containing transmembrane protein, is a novel component of the NMDAR complex critical for maintaining the abundance of NR2A-containing NMDARs in the postsynaptic density. Neto1-null mice have depressed long-term potentiation (LTP) at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses, with the subunit dependency of LTP induction switching from the normal predominance of NR2A- to NR2B-NMDARs. NMDAR-dependent spatial learning and memory is depressed in Neto1-null mice, indicating that Neto1 regulates NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity and cognition. Remarkably, we also found that the deficits in LTP, learning, and memory in Neto1-null mice were rescued by the ampakine CX546 at doses without effect in wild-type. Together, our results establish the principle that auxiliary proteins are required for the normal abundance of NMDAR subunits at synapses, and demonstrate that an inherited learning defect can be rescued pharmacologically, a finding with therapeutic implications for humans.
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.
Project description:The role of zinc (Zn2+), a modulator of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, in regulating long-term synaptic plasticity at hippocampal CA1 synapses is poorly understood. The effects of exogenous application of Zn2+ and of chelation of endogenous Zn2+ were examined on long-term potentiation (LTP) of stimulus-evoked synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral (SCH) synapses in field CA1 of mouse hippocampal slices using whole-cell patch clamp and field recordings. Low micromolar concentrations of exogenous Zn2+ enhanced the induction of LTP, and this effect required activation of NMDA receptors containing NR2B subunits. Zn2+ elicited a selective increase in NMDA/NR2B fEPSPs, and removal of endogenous Zn2+ with high-affinity Zn2+ chelators robustly reduced the magnitude of stimulus-evoked LTP. Taken together, our data show that Zn2+ at physiological concentrations enhances activation of NMDA receptors containing NR2B subunits, and that this effect enhances the magnitude of LTP.
Project description:The transient, A-type K+ current (IA) controls the excitability of CA1 pyramidal neuron dendrites by regulating the back-propagation of action potentials and by shaping synaptic input. Dendritic A-type K+ channels are targeted for modulation during long-term potentiation (LTP) and we have recently shown that activity-dependent internalization of the A-type channel subunit Kv4.2 enhances synaptic currents. However, the effect of changes in IA on the ability to induce subsequent synaptic plasticity (metaplasticity) has not been investigated. Here, we show that altering functional Kv4.2 expression level leads to a rapid, bidirectional remodeling of CA1 synapses. Neurons exhibiting enhanced IA showed a decrease in relative synaptic NR2B/NR2A subunit composition and did not exhibit LTP. Conversely, reducing IA by expression of a Kv4.2 dominant-negative or through genomic knockout of Kv4.2 led to an increased fraction of synaptic NR2B/NR2A and enhanced LTP. Bidirectional synaptic remodeling was mimicked in experiments manipulating intracellular Ca2+ and dependent on spontaneous activation of NMDA receptors and CaMKII activity. Our data suggest that A-type K+ channels are an integral part of a synaptic complex that regulates Ca2+ signaling through spontaneous NMDAR activation to control synaptic NMDAR expression and plasticity.