H. Monyer, R. Sprengle, R. Schoepfer, A. Herb, M. Higuchi, H. Lomeli, N. Burnashev, B. Sakmann, P.H. Seeburg, "Heteromeric NMDA receptors: Molecular and functional distinction of subtypes," Science, 256:1217-21, 1992.

Peter H. Seeburg (Center for Molecular Biology, University of Heidelberg): "In our brain, nerve cells communicate by chemical transmission at specialized structures termed synapses. Most excitatory synapses use the neurotransmitter L-glutamate, which activates specific receptor channels in the postsynaptic membrane. Molecularly and functionally different glutamate-activated channels are expressed by the brain, presumably tailored to the requirements of the particular synapses carrying them. The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor is one of these channels and is a major mediator of excitatory neurotransmission. Its properties are high permeability for Ca2+ and slow gating kinetics. Moreover, this receptor channel is blocked by extracellular Mg2+ ions.

"The strength of this block depends on the membrane potential. Around the cell's resting potential the block is in place;...

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