Extrasynaptic glutamate NMDA receptors: Key players in striatal function.

Garcia-Munoz M, Lopez-Huerta VG, Carrillo-Reid L, Arbuthnott GW
Source: Other
Publication Date: (2015)
Issue: 89: 54-63
Research Area:
Basic Research
Cells used in publication:
Neuron, striatal, mouse
Species: mouse
Tissue Origin: brain
Neuron, cortical, mouse
Species: mouse
Tissue Origin: brain
N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) are crucial for the function of excitatory neurotransmission and are present at the synapse and on the extrasynaptic membrane. The major nucleus of the basal ganglia, striatum, receives a large glutamatergic excitatory input carrying information about movements and associated sensory stimulation for its proper function. Such bombardment of glutamate synaptic release results in a large extracellular concentration of glutamate that can overcome the neuronal and glial uptake homeostatic systems therefore allowing the stimulation of extrasynaptic glutamate receptors. Here we have studied the participation of their extrasynaptic type in cortically evoked responses or in the presence of NMDARs stimulation. We report that extrasynaptic NMDAR blocker memantine, reduced in a dose-dependent manner cortically induced NMDA excitatory currents in striatal neurons (recorded in zero-Mg(++) plus DNQX 10 µM). Moreover, memantine (2-4 µM) significantly reduced the NMDAR-dependent membrane potential oscillations called up and down states. Recordings of neuronal striatal networks with a fluorescent calcium indicator or with multielectrode arrays (MEA) also showed that memantine reduced in a dose-dependent manner, NMDA-induced excitatory currents and network behavior. We used multielectrode arrays (MEA) to grow segregated cortical and striatal neurons. Once synaptic contacts were developed (>21DIV) recordings of extracellular activity confirmed the cortical drive of spontaneous synchronous discharges in both compartments. After severing connections between compartments, active striatal neurons in the presence of memantine (1 µM) and CNQX (10 µM) were predominantly fast spiking interneurons (FSI). The significance of extrasynaptic receptors in the regulation of striatal function and neuronal network activity is evident.