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Wang M, Yang Y, Wang CJ, Gamo NJ, Jin LE, Mazer JA, Morrison JH, Wang XJ, Arnsten AF. NMDA receptors subserve persistent neuronal firing during working memory in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Neuron . 2013 Feb 20 ; 77(4):736-49. PubMed Abstract

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Comment by:  Deanna M. Barch
Submitted 19 March 2013 Posted 19 March 2013

The recent publication by Wang and colleagues provides thought-provoking data about the role of NMDA receptors in “higher” cognitive functions such as working memory, and the potential role that NMDA receptor dysfunction might play in psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia. Briefly, Wang and colleagues show that both direct iontophoresis and systemic administration of NMDAR antagonists reduced delay-related firing of cells in deep layer III of primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). This effect occurred for both antagonism of NR2B and NR2A receptors, though the focus of Wang and colleagues' report was on NR2B receptors, given their localization to the postsynaptic density and the fact that the temporal dynamics of their kinetics make them good candidates for playing a specific role in the maintenance of persistent firing in DLPFC circuits, as explicated by computational modeling.

The results of Wang and colleagues were consistent with a computational model of the role of NR2B receptors in working memory and delay-related activity in DLPFC neurons (  Read more

View all comments by Deanna M. Barch
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