Quisqualate receptors are specifically involved in cerebellar synaptic plasticity

Nature. 1987 Jan;325(6101):276-9. doi: 10.1038/325276a0.


Long-term modification of transmission efficacy at synapses is the cellular basis of memory and learning. A special type of synaptic plasticity in the cerebellum was postulated theoretically, and has since been verified. Each cerebellar Purkinje cell (PC) receives two distinct excitatory inputs, one from parallel fibres (PFs) and the other from a climbing fibre (CF). When these two types of inputs are conjunctively activated, PF-PC transmission undergoes long-term depression (LTD). Accumulated evidence suggests that LTD plays a role in the motor learning processes of the cerebellum. At the molecular level, LTD appears to be caused by desensitization of receptor molecules in PC dendrites towards the PF neurotransmitter, presumably L-glutamate (Glu). Glu receptors are heterogeneous and can be divided into several subtypes. In this study, we compared the potency of several Glu agonists in inducing LTD and found a highly selective dependency of LTD on the quisqualate(QA)-selective subtype of Glu receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate
  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Aspartic Acid / pharmacology
  • Cerebellum / cytology*
  • Decerebrate State
  • Electrophysiology
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Kynurenic Acid / pharmacology
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Oxadiazoles / pharmacology
  • Quisqualic Acid
  • Rabbits
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • Receptors, Drug / physiology*
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / metabolism
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects
  • Valine / analogs & derivatives
  • Valine / pharmacology


  • Oxadiazoles
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • Receptors, Drug
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Aspartic Acid
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate
  • Quisqualic Acid
  • Kynurenic Acid
  • Valine