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Unblocking of NMDA receptor, glutamate binding and activation

Stable Identifier
Homo sapiens
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At resting membrane potential the NMDA receptor is blocked by extracellular Mg2+ ions and therefore is not activated in this state by ligands (glutamate, glycine, NMDA). The voltage block is removed upon depolarization of the post-synaptic cell membrane by the influx of Na+ and efflux of K+ from the cell, Mg2+ is expelled from the NMDA receptor can now be activated by the ligands. The depolarization of the membrane maybe due to activation of Ca2+ impermeable AMPA receptors, which facilitates Na+ influx, contributing to the unblocking of NMDA receptors.

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