The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, synaptic plasticity, and depressive disorder: a critical review

Rachel X A Petrie, Ian C Reid, Caroline A Stewart

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    114 Citations (Scopus)


    The roles of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic plasticity are reviewed in the context of depressive disorder and its treatment. The mode of action of antidepressant treatment is poorly understood. Animal studies have suggested that many antidepressant drugs show activity at the NMDA receptor and that NMDA antagonists have antidepressant profiles in preclinical models of depression. A post-mortem study in humans has suggested that certain binding characteristics of the NMDA receptor may be down-regulated in the brains of suicide victims. "Depressogenic" stressors in animals and chronic administration of antidepressant agents perturb NMDA-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11-25
    Number of pages15
    JournalPharmacology & Therapeutics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000

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