Inhibition by intracellular Mg(2+) of recombinant N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells.J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2000 Mar; 292(3):1104-10.JP
Intracellular Mg(2+) (Mg(i)(2+)) inhibits the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype of glutamate receptors in cultured cortical neurons. To examine the effects of Mg(i)(2+) on recombinant NMDA receptors composed of subunit combinations found in cortical neurons, we expressed heteromeric receptors composed of NR1/NR2A and of NR1/NR2B subunits in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. We recorded whole-cell currents from the recombinant receptors in the absence and presence of Mg(i)(2+). The voltage dependence of control (0 Mg(i)(2+)) NMDA-activated currents obtained from CHO cells transfected with NR1/NR2A and with NR1/NR2B receptors showed outward rectification, a property that has been observed previously in native cortical NMDA receptors. The magnitude and voltage dependence of inhibition by Mg(i)(2+) of NMDA-activated currents were similar in CHO cells transfected with NR1/NR2A receptors, CHO cells transfected with NR1/NR2B receptors, and in cultured neurons expressing native NMDA receptors. These observations suggest that Mg(i)(2+) has uniform effects on the native NMDA receptors expressed in cortical neurons. Furthermore, inhibition by Mg(i)(2+) must not depend on intracellular factors or post-translational receptor modifications that are specific to neurons. Finally, the results indicate that the previously observed differences between whole-cell and outside-out patch measurements of Mg(i)(2+) inhibition could not result from poor control of voltage or Mg(i)(2+) concentration in the dendrites of neurons. The most likely alternative explanation is that patch excision causes an alteration in NMDA receptors that results in more effective inhibition by Mg(i)(2+).