The Role of NMDA Receptors in Neural Stem Cell Proliferation and Differentiation

Stem Cells Dev. 2017 Jun 1;26(11):798-807. doi: 10.1089/scd.2016.0325. Epub 2017 May 10.


N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are expressed abundantly in the brain and play an important role in the regulation of neuronal development, learning, memory, neurodegenerative diseases, and neurogenesis, all of which are extensively discussed in reviews published elsewhere. While the number of research articles on the developmental and neurological cues that trigger NMDAR localization across a developing neuron and the role of the NMDAR in embryonic and adult stem cell proliferation and differentiation have been growing dramatically over the past few years, there is not a single review on this latter general topic. In the proposed review, we will summarize the current understanding of NMDARs in stem cell biology and their involvement in pathophysiological processes of neuron development, especially during early neuronal development (immature neurons) and differentiation.

Keywords: NMDA receptors; adult stem cells; proliferation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Humans
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Neurogenesis
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism*


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate