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

Early onset of NMDA receptor GluR epsilon 1 (NR2A) expression and its abundant postsynaptic localization in developing motoneurons of the mouse hypoglossal nucleus.

Oro-facial sensorimotor function conducted by the brainstem is vital to newborn mammals, and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play an important role in the regulation. Here we examined the expression of NMDA receptor subunits in the mouse hypoglossal nucleus from embryonic day 13 ( E13) through postnatal day 21 (P21). Compared with other brainstem regions, early onset of GluRepsilon1 (NR2A) mRNA expression was conspicuous to the embryonic hypoglossal nucleus. The expression peaked at P1-P7, when other brainstem regions just started to express it. At P1, GluRepsilon1 subunit was localized to asymmetrical synapses on motoneuron dendrites, particularly, on the postsynaptic junction membrane. In developing motoneurons, expressions of GluRepsilon2 (NR2B), GluRepsilon4 (NR2D), and GluRzeta1 (NR1) mRNAs were accompanied. Until P21, however, all of these subunits were down-regulated with particular reduction for GluRepsilon2 and GluRepsilon4 mRNAs. Similar patterns of temporal expressions were observed in motoneurons of other brainstem motor nuclei. Taking that high levels of GluRepsilon1, GluRepsilon2, and GluRzeta1 subunits are also found in the adult hippocampus and cerebral cortex, it can be assumed that NMDA receptors in developing motoneurons are highly potent and potentially involved in structural and functional development of the brainstem motor system.[1]


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