Henson, Maile A, et al. Genetic Deletion of Nr3a Accelerates Glutamatergic Synapse Maturation. 2012. https://doi.org/10.17615/8eww-1s94
Henson, M., Larsen, R., Lawson, S., Pérez Otaño, I., Nakanishi, N., Lipton, S., & Philpot, B. (2012). Genetic Deletion of NR3A Accelerates Glutamatergic Synapse Maturation. https://doi.org/10.17615/8eww-1s94
Henson, Maile A., Rylan S Larsen, Shelikha N Lawson, Isabel Pérez Otaño, Nobuki Nakanishi, Stuart A Lipton, and Benjamin D Philpot. 2012. Genetic Deletion of Nr3a Accelerates Glutamatergic Synapse Maturation. https://doi.org/10.17615/8eww-1s94
Glutamatergic synapse maturation is critically dependent upon activation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs); however, the contributions of NR3A subunit-containing NMDARs to this process have only begun to be considered. Here we characterized the expression of NR3A in the developing mouse forebrain and examined the consequences of NR3A deletion on excitatory synapse maturation. We found that NR3A is expressed in many subcellular compartments, and during early development, NR3A subunits are particularly concentrated in the postsynaptic density (PSD). NR3A levels dramatically decline with age and are no longer enriched at PSDs in juveniles and adults. Genetic deletion of NR3A accelerates glutamatergic synaptic transmission, as measured by AMPAR-mediated postsynaptic currents recorded in hippocampal CA1. Consistent with the functional observations, we observed that the deletion of NR3A accelerated the expression of the glutamate receptor subunits NR1, NR2A, and GluR1 in the PSD in postnatal day (P) 8 mice. These data support the idea that glutamate receptors concentrate at synapses earlier in NR3A-knockout (NR3A-KO) mice. The precocious maturation of both AMPAR function and glutamate receptor expression are transient in NR3A-KO mice, as AMPAR currents and glutamate receptor protein levels are similar in NR3A-KO and wildtype mice by P16, an age when endogenous NR3A levels are normally declining. Taken together, our data support a model whereby NR3A negatively regulates the developmental stabilization of glutamate receptors involved in excitatory neurotransmission, synaptogenesis, and spine growth.