Ionotropic Glutamate Receptor Biology: Effect on Synaptic Connectivity and Function in Neurological Disease

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Glutamate receptor signaling is essential to normal synaptic function in the central nervous system. The major ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPA, Kainic, and NMDA) have different synaptic functions depending upon cellular and subcellular localization, subunit composition, and second messenger systems linked to the receptors. In this review, we examine major advances in glutamate receptor biology whose physiology plays a central role in neurologic disease such as epilepsy and stroke. A key feature of glutamate receptor activation in neurologic disease is the downstream effects on cell survival, genetic expression of axon guidance cues, synaptic connectivity / formation of networks, and neuronal excitability. Identification of therapeutic pharmacologic targets and development of antagonists specific to the disease process remain central themes in epilepsy and stroke research.

Keywords: epilepsy; glutamate; kainic acid; kindling; sprouting

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: Director, Developmental Neurobiology Laboratory, Department of Neurology, L441, Wing D, KY Clinic, 704 South Limestone, KY 40536, Lexington, USA.

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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