Журнал молекулярной визуализации и динамики

Журнал молекулярной визуализации и динамики
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ISSN: 2155-9937


Kainate receptors: Molecular Physiology

Kobayashi Masato

In the mammalian nervous system, glutamate is primarily involved in fast excitatory neurotransmission. Despite the fact that the importance of this amino acid for brain function has been constantly emphasised, there is no way to exaggerate it. On the one hand, glutamate functions as transmitter at most excitatory synapses and is implicated in the production of long-term changes in neurotransmission efficacy, which are assumed to be neuronal correlates of memory formation. Glutamate, on the other hand, plays an important role in the nervous system's development, assisting in the extension of processes, the production and deletion of synapses, and the activity-dependent fine tuning of finely precise patterns of connection in various brain locations. Finally, changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission have been linked to neuronal injury following ischemia and hypoglycaemia, as well as the aetiology of a number of neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's chorea, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The number of studies devoted to understanding glutamate-mediated transmission has progressively increased over the years as a result of this diversity of roles. It's no surprise, then, that inotropic glutamate receptors, cationic channels that translate synaptic amino acid release into an immediate neuronal response, are among the most studied and best-understood molecules in the nervous system.