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Journal Articles Journal of Neurochemistry Year : 2015

Time and space profiling of NMDA receptor co-agonist functions


The N-Methyl D-Aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors (NMDAR) are key tetrameric ionotropic glutamate receptors that transduce glutamatergic signals throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and spinal cord. Although NMDARs are diverse in their subunit composition, subcellular localization, and biophysical and pharmacological properties, their activation always requires the binding of a co-agonist that has long been thought to be glycine. However, intense research over the last decade has challenged this classical model by showing that another amino acid, d-serine, is the preferential co-agonist for a subset of synaptic NMDARs in many areas of the adult brain. Nowadays, a totally new picture of glutamatergic synapses at work is emerging where both glycine and d-serine are involved in a complex interplay to regulate NMDAR functions in the CNS following time and space constraints. The purpose of this review was to highlight the particular role of each co-agonist in modulating NMDAR-dependent activities in healthy and diseased brains. We have herein integrated our most advanced knowledge of how glycine and d-serine may orchestrate synapse dynamics and drive neuronal network activity in a time- and synapse-specific manner and how changes in synaptic availability of these amino acids may contribute to cognitive impairments such as those associated with healthy aging, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.

Dates and versions

hal-02193381 , version 1 (24-07-2019)



Jean-Pierre Mothet, Matildé Le Bail, Jean-Marie Billard. Time and space profiling of NMDA receptor co-agonist functions. Journal of Neurochemistry, 2015, 135 (2), pp.210-225. ⟨10.1111/jnc.13204⟩. ⟨hal-02193381⟩
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