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Event: 195

Key Event Title

A descriptive phrase which defines a discrete biological change that can be measured. More help

Inhibition, NMDARs

Short name
The KE short name should be a reasonable abbreviation of the KE title and is used in labelling this object throughout the AOP-Wiki. More help
Inhibition, NMDARs
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Biological Context

Structured terms, selected from a drop-down menu, are used to identify the level of biological organization for each KE. More help
Level of Biological Organization
Molecular

Cell term

The location/biological environment in which the event takes place.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable.  Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf. More help
Cell term
neuron

Organ term

The location/biological environment in which the event takes place.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable.  Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf. More help

Key Event Components

The KE, as defined by a set structured ontology terms consisting of a biological process, object, and action with each term originating from one of 14 biological ontologies (Ives, et al., 2017; https://aopwiki.org/info_pages/2/info_linked_pages/7#List). Biological process describes dynamics of the underlying biological system (e.g., receptor signalling).Biological process describes dynamics of the underlying biological system (e.g., receptor signaling).  The biological object is the subject of the perturbation (e.g., a specific biological receptor that is activated or inhibited). Action represents the direction of perturbation of this system (generally increased or decreased; e.g., ‘decreased’ in the case of a receptor that is inhibited to indicate a decrease in the signaling by that receptor).  Note that when editing Event Components, clicking an existing Event Component from the Suggestions menu will autopopulate these fields, along with their source ID and description.  To clear any fields before submitting the event component, use the 'Clear process,' 'Clear object,' or 'Clear action' buttons.  If a desired term does not exist, a new term request may be made via Term Requests.  Event components may not be edited; to edit an event component, remove the existing event component and create a new one using the terms that you wish to add.  Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf. More help
Process Object Action
NMDA glutamate receptor activity NMDA selective glutamate receptor complex decreased

Key Event Overview

AOPs Including This Key Event

All of the AOPs that are linked to this KE will automatically be listed in this subsection. This table can be particularly useful for derivation of AOP networks including the KE. Clicking on the name of the AOP will bring you to the individual page for that AOP. More help
AOP Name Role of event in AOP Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
Binding of antagonist to NMDARs can lead to neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration KeyEvent Arthur Author (send email) Open for citation & comment WPHA/WNT Endorsed
Binding of antagonist to NMDARs impairs cognition KeyEvent Agnes Aggy (send email) Open for citation & comment WPHA/WNT Endorsed

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) that help to define the biological applicability domain of the KE.In many cases, individual species identified in these structured fields will be those for which the strongest evidence used in constructing the AOP was available in relation to this KE. More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
human Homo sapiens High NCBI
rat Rattus norvegicus High NCBI
mouse Mus musculus High NCBI

Life Stages

An indication of the the relevant life stage(s) for this KE. More help

Sex Applicability

An indication of the the relevant sex for this KE. More help

Key Event Description

A description of the biological state being observed or measured, the biological compartment in which it is measured, and its general role in the biology should be provided. More help

Biological state: L-glutamate (Glu) is a neurotransmitter with important role in the regulation of brain development and maturation processes. Two major classes of Glu receptors, ionotropic and metabotropic, have been identified. Due to its physiological and pharmacological properties, Glu activates three classes of ionotropic receptors named: α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoazolepropionic acid (AMPA receptors), 2-carboxy-3-carboxymethyl-4-isopropenylpyrrolidine (kainate receptors) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors, NMDARs), which transduce the postsynaptic signal. Ionotropic glutamate receptors are integral membrane proteins formed by four large subunits that compose a central ion channel pore. In case of NMDA receptors, two NR1 subunits are combined with either two NR2 (NR2A, NR2B, NR2C, NR2D) subunits and less commonly are assembled together with a combination of NR2 and NR3 (A, B) subunits (reviewed in Traynelis et al., 2010). To be activated NMDA receptors require simultaneous binding of both glutamate to NR2 subunits and of glycine to either NR1 or NR3 subunits that provide the specific binding sites named extracellular ligand-binding domains (LBDs). Apart from LBDs, NMDA receptor subunits contain three more domains that are considered semiautonomous: 1) the extracellular amino-terminal domain that plays important role in assembly and trafficking of these receptors; 2) the transmembrane domain that is linked with LBD and contributes to the formation of the core of the ion channel and 3) the intracellular carboxyl-terminal domain that influences membrane targeting, stabilization, degradation and post-translation modifications.

Biological compartments: The genes of the NMDAR subunits are expressed in various tissues and are not only restricted to the nervous system. The level of expression of these receptors in neuronal and non-neuronal cells depends on: transcription, chromatin remodelling, mRNA levels, translation, stabilization of the protein, receptor assembly and trafficking, energy metabolism and numerous environmental stimuli (reviewed in Traynelis et al., 2010).

In hippocampus region of the brain, NR2A and NR2B are the most abundant NR2 family subunits. NR2A-containing NMDARs are mostly expressed synaptically, while NR2B-containing NMDARs are found both synaptically and extrasynaptically (Tovar and Westbrook, 1999).

General role in biology: NMDA receptors, when compared to the other Glu receptors, are characterized by higher affinity for Glu, slower activation and desensitisation kinetics, higher permeability for calcium (Ca2+) and susceptibility to potential-dependent blockage by magnesium ions (Mg2+). NMDA receptors are involved in fast excitatory synaptic transmission and neuronal plasticity in the central nervous system (CNS). Functions of NMDA receptors:

1. They are involved in cell signalling events converting environmental stimuli to genetic changes by regulating gene transcription and epigenetic modifications in neuronal cells (Cohen and Greenberg, 2008).

2. In NMDA receptors, the ion channel is blocked by extracellular Mg2+ and Zn2+ ions, allowing the flow of Na+ and Ca2+ ions into the cell and K+ out of the cell which is voltage-dependent. Ca2+ flux through the NMDA receptor is considered to play a critical role in pre- and post-synaptic plasticity, a cellular mechanism important for learning and memory (Barria and Malinow, 2002).

3. The NMDA receptors have been shown to play an essential role in the strengthening of synapses and neuronal differentiation, through long-term potentiation (LTP), and the weakening of synapses, through long-term depression (LTD). All these processes are implicated in the memory and learning function (Barria and Malinow, 2002).

How It Is Measured or Detected

A description of the type(s) of measurements that can be employed to evaluate the KE and the relative level of scientific confidence in those measurements.These can range from citation of specific validated test guidelines, citation of specific methods published in the peer reviewed literature, or outlines of a general protocol or approach (e.g., a protein may be measured by ELISA). Do not provide detailed protocols. More help

Methods that have been previously reviewed and approved by a recognized authority should be included in the Overview section above. All other methods, including those well established in the published literature, should be described here. Consider the following criteria when describing each method: 1. Is the assay fit for purpose? 2. Is the assay directly or indirectly (i.e. a surrogate) related to a key event relevant to the final adverse effect in question? 3. Is the assay repeatable? 4. Is the assay reproducible?

No OECD methods are available to measure the activation state of NMDA receptors.

The measurement of the activation or the inhibition of NMDA receptors is done indirectly by recording the individual ion channels that are selective to Na+, K+ and Ca+2 by the patch clamp technique. This method relies on lack of measurable ion flux when NMDA ion channel is closed, whereas constant channel specific conductance is recorded at the open state of the receptor (Blanke and VanDongen, 2009). Furthermore, this method is based on the prediction that activation or inhibition of an ion channel results from an increase in the probability of being in the open or close state, respectively.

The whole-cell patch clamp recording techniques have also been used to study synaptically-evoked NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory or inhibitory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs and IPSCs, respectively) in brain slices and neuronal cells, allowing the evaluation of the activated or inhibited state of the receptor (Ogdon and Stanfield, 2009; Zhao et al., 2009).

Microelectrode array (MEA) recordings are used to measure electrical activity in cultured neurons in response to NMDA receptor activation or inactivation (Keefer et al., 2001, Gramowski et al., 2000 and Gopal, 2003; Johnstone et al., 2010). MEAs can also be applied in higher throughput platforms to facilitate screening of numerous chemical compounds based on electrical activity measurements (McConnell et al., 2012).

Domain of Applicability

A description of the scientific basis for the indicated domains of applicability and the WoE calls (if provided).  More help

The cellular expression of the NMDAR subunits has been studied in both adult human cortex and hippocampus (Scherzer et al., 1998) as well as during the development of the human hippocampal formation (Law et al., 2003). The whole-cell patch clamp recording techniques have been used in NMDA receptors expressed in human TsA cells (derivative of the human embryonic kidney cell line HEK-293) (Ludolph et al., 2010). Cell-attached single-channel recordings of NMDA channels has been carried out in human dentate gyrus granule cells acutely dissociated from slices prepared from hippocampi surgically removed from human patients (Lieberman and Mody, 1999).

It is important to note that in invertebrates the glutamatergic synaptic transmission has inhibitory and not excitatory role like in vertebrates. This type of neurotransmission is mediated by glutamate-gated chloride channels that are members of the ‘cys-loop’ ligand-gated anion channel superfamily found only in invertebrates. The subunits of glutamate-activated chloride channel have been isolated from C. elegans and from Drosophila (Blanke and VanDongen, 2009).

References

List of the literature that was cited for this KE description. More help

Barria A, Malinow R. (2002) Subunit-specific NMDA receptor trafficking to synapses. Neuron 35: 345-353.

Blanke ML, VanDongen AMJ. (2009) Activation Mechanisms of the NMDA Receptor. In: Van Dongen AM, editor. Biology of the NMDA Receptor. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; Chapter 13. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK5274/

Cohen S, Greenberg ME. (2008) Communication between the synapse and the nucleus in neuronal development, plasticity, and disease. Ann Rev Cell Dev Biol 24: 183-209.

Gopal K. (2003) Neurotoxic effects of mercury on auditory cortex networks growing on microelectrode arrays: a preliminary analysis. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 25: 69-76.

Gramowski A, Schiffmann D, Gross GW. (2000) Quantification of acute neurotoxic effects of trimethyltin using neuronal networks cultures on microelectrode arrays. Neurotoxicology 21: 331-342.

Johnstone AFM, Gross GW, Weiss D, Schroeder O, Shafer TJ. (2010). Use of microelectrode arrays for neurotoxicity testing in the 21st century Neurotoxicology 31: 331-350.

Keefer E, Norton S, Boyle N, Talesa V, Gross G. (2001) Acute toxicity screening of novel AChE inhibitors using neuronal networks on microelectrode arrays. Neurotoxicology 22: 3-12.

Law AJ, Weickert CS, Webster MJ, Herman MM, Kleinman JE, Harrison PJ. (2003) Expression of NMDA receptor NR1, NR2A and NR2B subunit mRNAs during development of the human hippocampal formation. Eur J Neurosci. 18: 1197-1205.

Lieberman DN, Mody I. (1999) Properties of single NMDA receptor channels in human dentate gyrus granule cells. J Physiol. 518: 55-70.

Ludolph AG, Udvardi PT, Schaz U, Henes C, Adolph O, Weigt HU, Fegert JM, Boeckers TM, Föhr KJ. (2010) Atomoxetine acts as an NMDA receptor blocker in clinically relevant concentrations. Br J Pharmacol. 160: 283-291.

McConnell ER, McClain MA, Ross J, LeFew WR, Shafer TJ (2012). Evaluation of multi-well microelectrode arrays for neurotoxicity screening using a chemical training set Neurotoxicology 33: 1048-1057.

Ogdon D, Stanfield P. (2009) Patch clamp techniques for single channel and whole-cell recording. Chapter 4, pages 53-78. http://www.utdallas.edu/~tres/microelectrode/microelectrodes_ch04.pdf

Scherzer CR, Landwehrmeyer GB, Kerner JA, Counihan TJ, Kosinski CM, Standaert DG, Daggett LP, Veliçelebi G, Penney JB, Young AB. (1998) Expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit mRNAs in the human brain: hippocampus and cortex. J Comp Neurol. 390: 75-90.

Tovar KR, Westbrook GL. (1999) The incorporation of NMDA receptors with a distinct subunit composition at nascent hippocampal synapses in vitro. J Neurosci. 19: 4180–4188.

Traynelis S, Wollmuth LP, McBain CJ, Menniti FS, Vance KM, Ogden KK, Hansen KB, Yuan H, Myers SJ, Dingledine R. (2010) Glutamate receptor ion channels: structure, regulation, and function. Pharmacol Rev. 62: 405-496.

Zhao Y, Inayat S, Dikin DA, Singer JH, Ruoff RS, Troy JB. (2009) Patch clamp technique: review of the current state of the art and potential contributions from Nanoengineering. Proc. IMechE 222, Part N: J. Nanoengineering and Nanosystems 149. DOI: 10.1243/17403499JNN149