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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Colocalization of glutamate ionotropic receptor subunits in the human temporal neocortex.

alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA), kainate and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors represent major classes of glutamate receptors (GluR) which play fundamental roles in normal excitatory synaptic activity and, probably, in the etiology of several brain diseases. These receptors are composed of multiple receptor subunit proteins, and the differential expression of these subunits in cortical neurons is considered to be one of the substrates for the functional diversity of cortical excitatory circuitry. In the monkey neocortex, different subpopulations of neurons have been identified on the basis of immunocytochemical colocalization studies using subunit-specific antibodies, but no comparable investigations have been made in the human neocortex. The aim of the present study was to determine quantitatively GluR subunit combinations in the human temporal neocortex by double-labeling immunocyto- chemical experiments. We quantified the neuronal populations expressing different receptor subtypes with fluorescent tags visualizing them with confocal laser microscopy. We studied AMPA, kainate- and NMDA-receptor subunits, using antibodies against GluR1, GluR2, GluR2/3, GluR2/4, GluR5/6/7 and NMDAR1 subunits. A high degree of colocalization (93-100%) using combinations of antibodies against GluR2 with GluR2/3, GluR2/3 with GluR2/4, and GluR2 or GluR2/4 with NMDAR1 was found, whereas for other combinations the degree of colocalization varied between 38% and 88%. Some of the percentages reported here are similar to those found in the monkey cortex, whereas others differ considerably. These results emphasize the diversity of excitatory circuits in the human neocortex, and suggest species differences with regard to some of these GluR-mediated circuits.[1]


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