NMDA receptors expressed in oligodendrocytes

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SummaryOligodendrocytes are known to express Ca2-permeable glutamate receptors and to have low resistance to oxidative stress, two factors that make them potentially susceptible to injury. Oligodendrocyte injury is intrinsic to the loss of function experienced in conditions ranging from cerebral palsy to spinal cord injury, focal ischaemia and multiple sclerosis. NMDA receptors, a subtype of glutamate receptors, are vital to the remodeling of synaptic connections during postnatal development and associative learning abilities in adults and possibly in improvements in oligodendrocyte function. Previous studies had failed to detect NMDA receptor mRNA or current in oligodendrocytes but three new papers(1-3) demonstrate NMDA receptor expression in oligodendrocytes and discuss its implications for ischaemia therapy.

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