MGluR5 and NMDA receptors drive the experience- and activity-dependent NMDA receptor NR2B to NR2A subunit switch.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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: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: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:Aggregates of amyloid-beta (A?) and tau are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) leading to neurodegeneration and synaptic loss. While increasing evidence suggests that inhibition of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) may mitigate certain aspects of AD neuropathology, the precise role of different NMDAR subtypes for A?- and tau-mediated toxicity remains to be elucidated. Using mouse organotypic hippocampal slice cultures from arcA? transgenic mice combined with Sindbis virus-mediated expression of human wild-type tau protein (hTau), we show that A? caused dendritic spine loss independently of tau. However, the presence of hTau was required for A?-induced cell death accompanied by increased hTau phosphorylation. Inhibition of NR2B-containing NMDARs abolished A?-induced hTau phosphorylation and toxicity by preventing GSK-3? activation but did not affect dendritic spine loss. Inversely, NR2A-containing NMDAR inhibition as well as NR2A-subunit knockout diminished dendritic spine loss but not the A? effect on hTau. Activation of extrasynaptic NMDARs in primary neurons caused degeneration of hTau-expressing neurons, which could be prevented by NR2B-NMDAR inhibition but not by NR2A knockout. Furthermore, caspase-3 activity was increased in arcA? transgenic cultures. Activity was reduced by NR2A knockout but not by NR2B inhibition. Accordingly, caspase-3 inhibition abolished spine loss but not hTau-dependent toxicity in arcA? transgenic slice cultures. Our data show that A? induces dendritic spine loss via a pathway involving NR2A-containing NMDARs and active caspase-3 whereas activation of eSyn NR2B-containing NMDARs is required for hTau-dependent neurodegeneration, independent of caspase-3.
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: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:NMDA receptors (NMDARs) are important for neuronal development and circuit formation. The NMDAR subunits NR2A and NR2B are biophysically distinct and differentially expressed during development but their individual contribution to structural plasticity is unknown. Here we test whether NR2A and NR2B subunits have specific functions in the morphological development of tectal neurons in living Xenopus tadpoles. We use exogenous subunit expression and endogenous subunit knockdown to shift synaptic NMDAR composition toward NR2A or NR2B, as shown electrophysiologically. We analyzed the dendritic arbor structure and found evidence for both overlapping and distinct functions of NR2A and NR2B in dendritic development. Control neurons develop regions of high local branch density in their dendritic arbor, which may be important for processing topographically organized inputs. Exogenous expression of either NR2A or NR2B decreases local branch clusters, indicating a requirement for both subunits in dendritic arbor development. Knockdown of endogenous NR2A reduces local branch clusters, whereas knockdown of NR2B has no effect on branch clustering. Analysis of the underlying branch dynamics shows that exogenous NR2B-expressing neurons are more dynamic than control or exogenous NR2A-expressing neurons, demonstrating subunit-specific regulation of branch dynamics. Visual experience-dependent increases in dendritic arbor growth rate seen in control neurons are blocked in both exogenous NR2A- and NR2B-expressing neurons. These experiments indicate that NR2A and NR2B have subunit-specific properties in dendritic arbor development, but also overlapping functions, indicating a requirement for both subunits in neuronal development.
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.