LGICSLigand-Gated Ion Channel Superfamily
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The fast synaptic excitation produced by glutamate involves the activation of three major subtypes of LGICs, termed the AMPA ([alpha]-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) (3)-, kainate-, and NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartic acid) (4)-type receptors based on the synthetic agonists that best activate each receptor (Kandel et al.
When glutamate binds to the NMDA receptor, activation of the intrinsic ion pore is favored, as is the case for AMPA receptors and other LGICs. However, at membrane potentials near the resting potential (e.g., -60 to -70 mV), the ion pore of the NMDA receptor is occluded by magnesium ions (Kandel et al.
Transmission can be broken down into fast synaptic transmission mediated by LGICs and slower-developing neuro-modulation mediated by GPCRs.