AII amacrine cells express functional NMDA receptors

Neuroreport. 1997 Mar 24;8(5):1219-23. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199703240-00032.


NMDA and non-NMDA receptors mediate the majority of fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the CNS. AII amacrine cells in the mammalian retina receive glutamatergic input from rod bipolar cells and are known to express non-NMDA receptors. We have investigated the expression of NMDA receptors in these cells by recording responses to exogenously applied NMDA in whole-cell recordings in slices of rat retina. Most cells displayed clear responses to NMDA. The responses could be blocked by a specific NMDA receptor antagonist and were characterized by voltage-dependent block with outward rectification. These results suggest that NMDA receptors could play a role in mediating excitatory synaptic input to AII amacrine cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • N-Methylaspartate / pharmacology*
  • Neural Conduction / drug effects
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Rats
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / biosynthesis*
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / drug effects*
  • Retina / metabolism


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • N-Methylaspartate