Disruption of the NMDA receptor GluN2A subunit abolishes inflammation-induced depression

Ester Francija, Zorica Petrovic, Zeljka Brkic, Milos Mitic, Jelena Radulovic, Miroslav Adzic*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Recent reports have demonstrated that lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced depressive-like behaviour is mediated via NMDA receptor. In this study, we further investigated the role of GluN2 A subunit of NMDA receptor in synaptic processes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus of GluN2 A knockout (KO) mice in LPS-induced depressive-like behavior. Our data suggest that LPS-treated mice, lacking GluN2 A subunit, did not exhibit depressive-like behaviour. This was accompanied by unaltered levels of IL-6 and significant changes in neuroplasticity markers and glutamate receptor subunits composition in PFC and hippocampus. In particular, an immune challenge in GluN2 A KO mice resulted in unchanged PSA-NCAM levels and proBDNF increase in both brain structures as well as in increase in BDNF levels in hippocampus. Furthermore, the absence of GluN2 A resulted in increased levels of all NCAM isoforms in PFC upon LPS which was followed with a decrease in GluN1 and GluN2B subunits. The levels of AMPA receptor subunits (GluA1, GluA3, and GluA4) in the hippocampus of GluN2 A mice were unaltered upon the treatment and abundantly present in the PFC of KO mice. These results indicate that the GluN2 A subunit is critical in neuroinflammation-related depression, that its absence abolishes LPS-induced depressive phenotype, sustains PSA-NCAM levels, increases proBDNF signalling in the PFC and hippocampus and potentiates synaptic stabilization through NCAM in the PFC upon an immune challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-559
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Depressive-like behavior
  • GluN2A knockout mice
  • Glutamatergic neurotransmission
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Synaptosomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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