Activation of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors is not required for NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression

Wade Morishita, Wei Lu, Gordon B. Smith, Roger A. Nicoll, Mark F. Bear, Robert C. Malenka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations


The triggering of both NMDA receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus requires a rise in postsynaptic calcium. A prominent hypothesis has been that the detailed properties of this postsynaptic calcium signal dictate whether LTP or LTD is generated by a given pattern of synaptic activity. Recently, however, evidence has been presented that the subunit composition of the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) determines whether a synapse undergoes LTP or LTD with NR2A-containing NMDARs triggering LTP and NR2B-containing NMDARs triggering LTD. In the present study, the role of NR2B-containing synaptic NMDARs in the induction of LTD in CA1 pyramidal cells has been studied using the selective NR2B antagonists, ifenprodil and Ro25-6981. While both antagonists reduced NMDAR-mediated synaptic currents, neither prevented induction of LTD. These results demonstrate that activation of NR2B-containing NMDARs is not an absolute requirement for the induction of LTD in the hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health to RCM, RAN and MFB.


  • Hippocampus
  • LTD
  • Long-term depression
  • NMDA receptors
  • Synapses


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