N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and the expression of their different splice variants and subunits were previously characterized in the brain and spinal cord. However, knowledge on the NMDA receptor expression and function in the enteric nervous system is limited. Previous work suggested that NMDA receptors were involved in a rat model of visceral hypersensitivity. The aim of this study was to characterize the expression of the NMDA receptor NR1 splice variants and the NR2 subunit subtypes in the rat colon. We visualized the expression of NR1 protein in the rat submucosal and myenteric plexuses. The NR1 splice variants found in the colon of rats lacked the N1 and C1 cassettes and contained the C2 and C2′ cassettes (NR1000 and NR1001). The NR2B and NR2D subunits were also found in the rat colon. Moreover, NMDA receptors in the rat colon were heteromeric, since NR1 was co-localized with NR2B and NR2D subunits using fluorescent immunohistochemistry. The identification of the NMDA receptors in the enteric nervous system could lead to the development of drugs that selectively modulate bowel function.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - Jun 15 2007|
- glutamate receptor
- myenteric plexus
- submucosal plexus
ASJC Scopus subject areas