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

In vitro eye-blink classical conditioning is NMDA receptor dependent and involves redistribution of AMPA receptor subunit GluR4.

The classically conditioned vertebrate eye-blink response is a model in which to study neuronal mechanisms of learning and memory. A neural correlate of this response recorded in the abducens nerve can be conditioned entirely in vitro using an isolated brainstem-cerebellum preparation from the turtle by pairing trigeminal and auditory nerve stimulation. Here it is reported that conditioning requires that the paired stimuli occur within a narrow temporal window of <100 msec and that it is blocked by the NMDA receptor antagonist d,l-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid. Moreover, there is a significant positive correlation between the levels of conditioning and greater immunoreactivity with the glutamate receptor 4 (GluR4) AMPA receptor subunit in the abducens motor nuclei, but not with NMDAR1 or GluR1. It is concluded that in vitro classical conditioning of an abducens nerve eye-blink response is generated by NMDA receptor- mediated mechanisms that may act to modify the AMPA receptor by increasing GluR4 subunits in auditory nerve synapses.[1]


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