The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Memantine and Ketamine Differentially Alter NMDA Receptor Desensitization.

PMID 28877967


Memantine and ketamine are clinically useful NMDA receptor (NMDAR) open channel blockers that inhibit NMDARs with similar potency and kinetics, but display vastly different clinical profiles. This discrepancy has been hypothesized to result from inhibition by memantine and ketamine of overlapping but distinct NMDAR subpopulations. For example, memantine but not ketamine may inhibit extrasynaptic NMDARs more effectively than synaptic NMDARs. However, the basis for preferential NMDAR inhibition depending on subcellular location has not been investigated systematically. We integrated recordings from heterologously expressed single NMDAR subtypes, kinetic modeling, and recordings of synaptically evoked NMDAR responses in acute brain slices to investigate mechanisms by which channel blockers may distinguish NMDAR subpopulations. We found that memantine and ketamine differentially alter NMDAR desensitization and that memantine stabilizes a Ca