GLuR ion channels

Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) are a ligand-gated ion channel activated by the neurotransmitter glutamate. They are a family of ion channels found throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems and are involved in many types of synaptic transmission. Ionotropic glutamate receptors are responsible for the fast excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) that occur in the brain, and they are divided into three subtypes AMPA, Kainate and NMDA receptors.

All three types of ionotropic glutamate receptors are found in the central nervous system, but they are also found in peripheral neurons.

  • AMPA receptors are found throughout the nervous system and are responsible for most fast excitatory synaptic transmission.
  • Kainate receptors are found in the hippocampus and other regions of the brain and are involved in synaptic plasticity and learning.
  • NMDA receptors are found in the hippocampus, cerebellum, and cortex and are involved in memory formation, learning, and long-term potentiation.

They are known to be associated with a variety of neurological and psychiatric diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and autism. Dysfunction in the glutamate receptor signaling has been linked to numerous neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Glutamate receptor expression or function abnormalities are associated with autism spectrum disorder, addiction, and depression. In addition, mutations in specific subunits of the ionotropic glutamate receptors have been associated with epilepsy.

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