Glutamate activated Ion channels that are sensitive to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) are designated NMDA receptors (NMDAR). The NMDA receptor plays an essential role in the induction of LTP in the CA1 and dentate areas of the hippocampus as the specific NMDA antagonist, APV blocks LTP in these areas. This receptor has also been linked to neuronal development and it has been implicated in several disorders of the central nervous system including epilepsy and ischemic neuronal cell death. The NR1 protein can form NMDA activated channels when expressed in Xenopus oocytes but the currents in such channels are much smaller than those seen in situ. Channels with more physiological characteristics are produced when the NR1 subunit is combined with one or more of the NMDAR2 (NR2 A-D) subunits.
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