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      Indistinguishable synaptic pharmacodynamics of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor channel blockers memantine and ketamine.

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          Abstract

          Memantine and ketamine, voltage- and activation-dependent channel blockers of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NMDARs), have enjoyed a recent resurgence in clinical interest. Steady-state pharmacodynamic differences between these blockers have been reported, but it is unclear whether the compounds differentially affect dynamic physiologic signaling. In this study, we explored nonequilibrium conditions relevant to synaptic transmission in hippocampal networks in dissociated culture and hippocampal slices. Equimolar memantine and ketamine had indistinguishable effects on the following measures: steady-state NMDA currents, NMDAR excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) decay kinetics, progressive EPSC inhibition during repetitive stimulation, and extrasynaptic NMDAR inhibition. Therapeutic drug efficacy and tolerability of memantine have been attributed to fast kinetics and strong voltage dependence. However, pulse depolarization in drug presence revealed a surprisingly slow and similar time course of equilibration for the two compounds, although memantine produced a more prominent fast component (62% versus 48%) of re-equilibration. Simulations predicted that low gating efficacy underlies the slow voltage-dependent relief from block. This prediction was empirically supported by faster voltage-dependent blocker re-equilibration with several experimental manipulations of gating efficacy. Excitatory postsynaptic potential-like voltage commands produced drug differences only with large, prolonged depolarizations unlikely to be attained physiologically. In fact, we found no difference between drugs on measures of spontaneous network activity or acute effects on plasticity in hippocampal slices. Despite indistinguishable synaptic pharmacodynamics, ketamine provided significantly greater neuroprotection from damage induced by oxygen glucose deprivation, consistent with the idea that under extreme depolarizing conditions, the biophysical difference between drugs becomes detectable. We conclude that despite subtle differences in voltage dependence, during physiologic activity, blocker pharmacodynamics are largely indistinguishable and largely voltage independent.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Mol. Pharmacol.
          Molecular pharmacology
          1521-0111
          0026-895X
          Dec 2013
          : 84
          : 6
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Graduate Program in Neuroscience (C.M.E.), Washington University, and Departments of Psychiatry (C.M.E., A.M.T., Y.I., C.F.Z., S.M.), Neurology (L.N.E.), Anatomy and Neurobiology (C.F.Z., S.M.), and Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psychiatric Research (Y.I., C.F.Z., S.M.), Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.
          Article
          mol.113.089334
          10.1124/mol.113.089334
          24101301

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