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Science 304 (5673): 973-974

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

NEUROSCIENCE:
Controlling the Ups and Downs of Synaptic Strength

Tim Bliss and Ralf Schoepfer

Neuroscientists have long been puzzled by the fact that N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors can both boost and dampen synaptic efficiency in the brain. In their Perspective, Bliss and Schoepfer reveal specific roles for NMDA receptor subtypes. According to new work (Liu et al.), the NMDA receptor supports either long-term potentiation or long-term depression, depending on whether the receptor contains NR2A or NR2B subunits, respectively.


T. Bliss is in the Division of Neurophysiology, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK. R. Schoepfer is in the Department of Pharmacology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK. E-mail: tbliss{at}nimr.mrc.ac.uk


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Modular Competition Driven by NMDA Receptor Subtypes in Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity.
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NMDA Receptor Subunits Have Differential Roles in Mediating Excitotoxic Neuronal Death Both In Vitro and In Vivo.
Y. Liu, T. P. Wong, M. Aarts, A. Rooyakkers, L. Liu, T. W. Lai, D. C. Wu, J. Lu, M. Tymianski, A. M. Craig, et al. (2007)
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Comment on "Role of NMDA Receptor Subtypes in Governing the Direction of Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity".
D. A. Rusakov, A. Scimemi, M. C. Walker, and D. M. Kullmann (2004)
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