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Assessment of ethanol (EtOH) sensitivity was combined with analysis of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) NR1-NR2 subunit composition in primary cultured striatal neurons. Subunit composition was determined by western blot analysis; assessment of ifenprodil and spermine sensitivity during whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. From 3-21 days in culture, NR2B was the only NR2 subunit detected using NR2 subunit specific antibodies; NMDA-induced currents were strongly inhibited by the NR2B-selective antagonist ifenprodil. Two populations of neurons were identified at all ages in culture: those in which NMDA-induced current was or was not potentiated by 100 microM spermine. This suggested that the striatal neurons expressed functional NMDARs which lacked or contained the NR1 N-terminal cassette. The EtOH sensitivity did not differ between these two populations of neurons nor did it change with age in culture at all concentrations of EtOH studied. Human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells containing NR1-1a or NR1-1b with either the NR2A or NR2B subunits did not differ in their EtOH sensitivity. Thus, it would appear that the presence or absence of the N-terminal cassette does not affect the EtOH sensitivity of recombinant NMDARs and native NMDARs expressed in cultured striatal neurons.


Journal article



Publication Date





45 - 56


Animals, Cell Line, Cells, Cultured, Ethanol, Humans, Neostriatum, Neurons, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate, Spermine