A radiohistochemical measure of [3H]TCP binding to the activated NMDA-receptor-gated ion channel in rat brain.
The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype of excitatory amino acid receptor is linked to an ion channel that is blocked by the phencyclidine analog N-(1-[thienyl]cyclohexyl)piperidine (TCP). Previous studies have shown that NMDA and glycine act together to increase the access of [3H]TCP to its binding site, presumably by increasing channel opening; NMDA/glycine-enhanced [3H]TCP binding performed under non-equilibrium conditions thereby serves as a dynamic molecular marker of channel activation. In this study we tested whether NMDA and glycine regulate [3H]TCP binding in slide-mounted brain sections. Striking activation of the NMDA ion channel was observed in neo- and allocortex; dentate gyrus and strata radiatum and oriens of CA1 and CA3 of hippocampal formation; and certain amygdaloid nuclei (basomedial, basolateral, and cortical). Other nuclei of the amygdala (central, posterolateral, and medial), basal ganglia, and numerous regions within the diencephalon, brainstem and cerebellum showed relatively little activation of the NMDA ion channel. Our demonstration of enriched NMDA/glycine-stimulated [3H]TCP binding in stratum radiatum of hippocampal region CA1 but not in cerebellar granule cell layer correlates with electrophysiologic studies that showed NMDA channel ion flux in CA1 but not in cerebellar granule cell layer in adult rats. These data demonstrate that NMDA and glycine regulation of [3H]TCP binding can be quantified with a radiohistochemical method to provide a regional measure of the activated NMDA-receptor-gated ion channel. This technique is a powerful tool for functional analysis of the NMDA receptor/channel complex in both physiologic and pathologic states.
Hosford, DA; Bonhaus, DW; McNamara, JO
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