The time course of NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic currents
The slowly rising, long-lasting time course of the NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory post-synaptic current (EPSC) is unusual for a response mediated by a directly gated ion channel. Although the EPSC time course has been physiologically reconciled with the role of the NMDA receptor in associative synaptic plasticity, until recently, the precise mechanisms underlying its generation remained obscure. This chapter focuses on how the interaction between synaptically released transmitter and the postsynaptic receptor gives rise to the distinctive properties of the NMDA synaptic current.
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