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Marios Giannakopoulos, Elias D. Kouvelas, Ada Mitsacos; Experience-Dependent Regulation of NMDA Receptor Subunit Composition and Phosphorylation in the Retina and Visual Cortex. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(4):1817-1822. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-4438.
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Experimental manipulation of experience during development can have profound effects on the functioning of the resulting circuits. N-methyl-d-aspartate glutamate receptor (NMDAR) activity is required for the establishment and refinement of neural circuits during development. In the present study, the authors addressed the issue of experience-dependent regulation of NMDARs by examining the effects of visual experience and deprivation on subunit composition and subunit phosphorylation of NMDAR in the retina and visual cortex.
Total homogenates were prepared from retinas and visual cortices of 30-day-old (P30) Wistar rats, raised either in a normal 12-hour light/12-hour dark cycle (normal-reared [NR]) or in complete darkness from birth (dark-reared [DR]). Some of the DR animals were exposed to light for 6 hours at P30 (DR+6h). Immunoblotting was performed for the NMDAR subunits, NR2A and NR2B, and for the phosphorylated NR2B subunit protein at serine 1303 (pNR2B-Ser1303).
Dark rearing for 1 month decreased the NR2A/NR2B ratio and increased the level of phosphorylation of NR2B subunit at Ser1303 in the retina and visual cortex. Light exposure at P30 reversed the effects of visual deprivation on NMDAR composition and NR2B phosphorylation in both regions.
These results indicated that NMDAR subunit composition and NR2B phosphorylation at Ser1303 is regulated bidirectionally by visual experience and deprivation in rat retina and visual cortex.
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