Asymmetrical Allocation of NMDA Receptor ε2 Subunits in Hippocampal Circuitry

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Science  09 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5621, pp. 990-994
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082609

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Despite its implications for higher order functions of the brain, little is currently known about the molecular basis of left-right asymmetry of the brain. Here we report that synaptic distribution of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor GluRϵ2 (NR2B) subunits in the adult mouse hippocampus is asymmetrical between the left and right and between the apical and basal dendrites of single neurons. These asymmetrical allocations of ϵ2 subunits differentiate the properties of NMDA receptors and synaptic plasticity between the left and right hippocampus. These results provide a molecular basis for the structural and functional asymmetry of the mature brain.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

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