NMDA Receptor Dependent Long-term Potentiation in Chronic Pain

Neurochem Res. 2019 Mar;44(3):531-538. doi: 10.1007/s11064-018-2614-8. Epub 2018 Aug 14.


Since the discovery of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus, many studies have demonstrated that NMDAR dependent LTP exists throughout central synapses, including those involved in sensory transmission and perception. NMDAR LTP has been reported in spinal cord dorsal horn synapses, anterior cingulate cortex and insular cortex. Behavioral, genetic and pharmacological studies show that inhibiting or reducing NMDAR LTP produced analgesic effects in animal models of chronic pain. Investigation of signalling mechanisms for NMDAR LTP may provide novel targets for future treatment of chronic pain.

Keywords: AC1; ACC; Chronic pain; IC; Long-term potentiation; NMDA receptor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Pain / drug therapy*
  • Chronic Pain / physiopathology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Potentiation / drug effects*
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / drug effects*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / physiology
  • Synapses / drug effects*
  • Synapses / physiology


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate