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Control of aversion by glycine-gated GluN1/GluN3A NMDA receptors in the adult medial habenula

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Science  11 Oct 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6462, pp. 250-254
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax1522

An inhibitor causes neuronal excitation

Glycine is thought to be primarily an inhibitory neurotransmitter. However, it also acts as a coagonist on excitatory N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Otsu et al. examined the function of the NMDA receptor subunit combination GluN1/GluN3A in the medial habenula (MHb) of adult mice. This NMDA receptor subunit combination in MHb neurons is activated by glycine released from astrocytes. Activation of GluN1/GluN3A NMDA receptors causes depolarization and increased spiking of MHb neurons. Reducing GluN3A receptor subunit levels in the MHb blocks conditioned place aversion.

Science, this issue p. 250

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