The roles of GluN3-containing N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in central nerve system

Zhejiang Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2021 Oct 25;50(5):651-658. doi: 10.3724/zdxbyxb-2021-0167.


The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) in central nerve system is mostly composed of GluN1 and GluN2 subunits. The classical NMDAR has been intensively studied. However, GluN3‑containing NMDAR is much less expressed and have atypical channel properties. Recently, accumulating evidences have revealed two types of GluN3‑containing NMDAR: glutamate-gated GluN1/GluN2/GluN3 NMDAR and glycine-gated GluN1/GluN3 NMDAR. The former may play important roles in regulating synapse maturation and pruning non-used synapses, and its elevated expression at the adult stage may alter synaptic reorganization in some neuropsychiatric disorders. The latter is expressed in the medial habenula and involves in control of aversion. This article reviews the recent progresses on the expression, functional properties of GluN3‑containing atypical NMDARs and the physiological and pathological relevance.

Keywords: GluN3 subunit; Mental disorder; N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor; Neural development; Review; Synaptic pruning.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System* / metabolism
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate*
  • Synapses


  • Protein Subunits
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate

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