Pharmacological Analysis of the Subunit Composition of the AMPA Receptor in Hippocampal Neurons

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Experiments were performed on isolated neurons from hippocampal field CA1 and the dentate fascia to identify the subunit composition and distribution of splicing variants of AMPA receptor subunits. Currents evoked by the application of kainate were recorded using a whole-cell patch clamping method. The presence of GluR2 subunits in receptors was associated with a sharp reduction in the activity of the selective channel blocker IEM-1460. The composition of flip versions of subunits was assessed using cyclothiazide. AMPA receptors in the major cell types (pyramidal and granule cells) had low sensitivity to IEM-1460, while AMPA receptors of other cells (interneurons) had high or intermediate sensitivity. Cyclothiazide had strong potentiating effects on the main cell types in both structures as compared with interneurons. Thus, there is a correlation between the sensitivities of hippocampal neurons to IEM-1460 and cyclothiazide. The main cell types in both structures expressed large quantities of the GluR2 subunit in their AMPA receptors, with high levels of flip subunits, as compared with the other cell types, in which GluR2 subunits were virtually absent and the flop version predominated. This appears to reflect the functional features of different types of neurons.

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