PMID: 8083731Sep 1, 1994Paper

Cellular and subcellular localization of NMDA-R1 subunit immunoreactivity in the visual cortex of adult and neonatal rats

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
C AokiT M Dawson


NMDA receptor activation can alter synaptic strength, cause cell death, and may modulate the release of glutamate and other neurotransmitters. Using a specific and selective antiserum directed against the R1 subunit of the NMDA receptor, we examined (1) whether NMDA receptors in the adult rat visual cortex are exclusively postsynaptic or also presynaptic and (2) whether NMDA-R1 subunits are incorporated into the plasma membrane prior to, contemporaneously, or following the formation of synapses during postnatal development. By light microscopy, NMDA-R1 immunoreactivity in the adult visual cortex is easily detectable within perikarya and proximal dendrites in laminae 2-6. Many of them have the morphological features of pyramidal neurons. In addition, fine punctate labeling is evident throughout the neuropil. Electron microscopy reveals these puncta to reside at postsynaptic densities of axospinous junctions and at fine astrocytic processes and axon terminals. In the deeper laminae, the majority of labeled profiles are astrocytic. Visual cortices of animals in their first postnatal week show concentrated immunoreactivity in a few nonpyramidal neurons within laminae that have just differentiated from the cortical plate. Electron m...Continue Reading

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