Postnatal developmental changes in AMPA and NMDA receptors in the rat vestibular nuclei.
Developmental Brain Research. 2000-09-01; 123(1): 41-52
Changes in the expression of the AMPA receptor subunits GluR1–4 and of the NMDA receptor subunits NR1, NR2A–D were investigated in the developing rat medial and lateral vestibular nuclei. Analyses were performed using nonradioactive in situ hybridization and immunoblotting with subunit-specific antibodies. During the postnatal development, glutamatergic receptor subunits were differentially expressed in the vestibular nuclei. The level of expression of GluR1, GluR4 and NR1 subunits was higher in the developing brain as compared to the adult. We observed a gradual increase in GluR2/3, NR2A, NR2B and NR2C levels of expression in the medial and lateral vestibular nuclei during the first 3 weeks of postnatal development. In situ hybridization results were consistent with immunoblot analyses. The differential expression of AMPA and NMDA receptor subunits in immature vestibular neurons is consistent with changes in glutamate receptor properties. This may be related to the postsynaptic regulation of receptor subunits associated with the synaptic plasticity of the vestibular neuron connections during specific sequences of postnatal development.