Magnesium-dependent inhibition of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated synaptic transmission by ethanol.


Journal Article

Previous studies have indicated that ethanol (EtOH) has a relatively specific effect on excitatory synaptic transmission by inhibiting function of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor. We have found that EtOH potently inhibits N-methyl-D-aspartate-mediated synaptic currents in the basolateral amygdala, a brain region associated with actions of anxiolytic agents such as EtOH. This inhibitory effect of EtOH requires the presence of magnesium (Mg++). The dependence of the effect of EtOH on the presence of Mg++ suggests a possible molecular site of the action of EtOH in the vicinity of Mg++ binding sites on the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-channel complex. Because EtOH consumption may result in reductions in free brain Mg++, this dynamic interaction between EtOH and Mg++ may have important implications for understanding the behavioral effects of EtOH.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Calton, JL; Wilson, WA; Moore, SD

Published Date

  • December 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 287 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 1015 - 1019

PubMed ID

  • 9864287

Pubmed Central ID

  • 9864287

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3565


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States