NYX-2925 induces metabotropic N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) signaling that enhances synaptic NMDAR and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor

M. Scott Bowers*, Luisa P. Cacheaux, Srishti U. Sahu, Mary E. Schmidt, Joseph A. Sennello, Katherine Leaderbrand, M. Amin Khan, Roger A. Kroes, Joseph R. Moskal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) mediate both physiological and pathophysiological processes, although selective ligands lack broad clinical utility. NMDARs are composed of multiple subunits, but N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunit 2 (GluN2) is predominately responsible for functional heterogeneity. Specifically, the GluN2A- and GluN2B-containing subtypes are enriched in adult hippocampus and cortex and impact neuronal communication via dynamic trafficking into and out of the synapse. We sought to understand if ((2S, 3R)-3-hydroxy-2-((R)-5-isobutyryl-1-oxo-2,5-diazaspiro[3,4]octan-2-yl) butanamide (NYX-2925), a novel NMDAR modulator, alters synaptic levels of GluN2A- or GluN2B-containing NMDARs. Low-picomolar NYX-2925 increased GluN2B colocalization with the excitatory post-synaptic marker post-synaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95) in rat primary hippocampal neurons within 30 min. Twenty-four hours following oral administration, 1 mg/kg NYX-2925 increased GluN2B in PSD-95-associated complexes ex vivo, and low-picomolar NYX-2925 regulated numerous trafficking pathways in vitro. Because the NYX-2925 concentration that increases synaptic GluN2B was markedly below that which enhances long-term potentiation (mid-nanomolar), we sought to elucidate the basis of this effect. Although NMDAR-dependent, NYX-2925-mediated colocalization of GluN2B with PSD-95 occurred independent of ion flux, as colocalization increased in the presence of either the NMDAR channel blocker (5R,10S)-(–)-5-Methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine hydrogen maleate or glycine site antagonist 7-chlorokynurenic acid. Moreover, while mid-nanomolar NYX-2925 concentrations, which do not increase synaptic GluN2B, enhanced calcium transients, functional plasticity was only enhanced by picomolar NYX-2925. Thus, NYX-2925 concentrations that increase synaptic GluN2B facilitated the chemical long-term potentiation induced insertion of synaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor GluA1 subunit levels. Basal (unstimulated by chemical long-term potentiation) levels of synaptic GluA1 were only increased by mid-nanomolar NYX-2925. These data suggest that NYX-2925 facilitates homeostatic plasticity by initially increasing synaptic GluN2B via metabotropic-like NMDAR signaling. (Figure presented.). Cover Image for this issue: doi: 10.1111/jnc.14735.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-541
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • AMPA
  • LTP
  • NMDA
  • colocalization
  • metabotropic
  • trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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