Current Excitement about the Glutamate Receptor Family

Robert G. Kalb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Glutamatergic synaptic transmission provides the major excitatory drive to neurons within the mammalian central nervous system, and the consequent activation of glutamate re ceptors participates in a variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes. There are several classes of ligand-gated glutamate receptors that express characteristic elec trophysiological properties. Glutamate receptors are multimeric proteins encoded by a large family of glutamate receptor genes, and individual genes are expressed by restricted populations of cells. One source of the functional diversity of glutamate receptors is the assembly of subunits into hetero-oligomeric complexes. An additional source of diversity comes from splice variants of individual subunits and editing of the messenger RNA se quence of some subunits at critical sites. Glutamate receptor subunit gene expression is dynamically regulated during development and in response to physiological and patho logical stimuli. Particular combinations of glutamate receptor subunits may express elec trophysiological properties that promote neuronal plasticity, whereas other combinations may have neurotoxic effects. The linkage of particular glutamate receptors to specific neuronal functions may provide an avenue for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-63
Number of pages4
JournalThe Neuroscientist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1995


  • AMPA receptor
  • Activity-dependent plasticity
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Kainate re ceptor
  • NMDA receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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