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

Amygdala kindling alters N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit messenger RNA expression in the rat supraoptic nucleus.

Intense electrical activity throughout the brain which results from generalized epileptic or kindled seizures is thought to cause persistent and widespread neuronal plastic changes. We have previously reported that stage 5 kindled seizures cause an increase in vasopressin messenger RNA content and nitric oxide synthase activity in neuroendocrine cells of the supraoptic nucleus which lasts for at least four months after the last seizure. To evaluate whether changes in the expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits might contribute to these effects, the expression of NR1, NR2A, NR2B. NR2C and NR2D subunit messenger RNAs was examined by in situ hybridization in neuroendocrine cells of the supraoptic nucleus one month after amygdala kindling to stage 5 seizures. No change in NR1 subunit messenger RNA expression was seen. In contrast, NR2B subunit messenger RNA was significantly increased. by about 63%, and NR2D subunit messenger RNA was significantly decreased, by about 22%. indicating a shift in NR2 subunit messenger RNA expression. NR2B subunit messenger RNA was also significantly increased in adjacent limbic structures. The long-lasting shift towards increased NR2B and decreased NR2D messenger RNA expression after kindling suggests that N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor NR2 composition may be an important factor in the maintenance of pathological plasticity following generalized seizures. If these changes in messenger RNA are translated into increased NR2B and decreased NR2D subunits in the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in vivo, both a decrease in sensitivity due to a strong magnesium block and an increase in channel ion gating might be predicted.[1]


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