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Excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) balance is essential for normal neural development, behavior and cognition. E/I imbalance leads to a variety of neurological disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. NMDA receptors (NMDARs) regulate AMPAR-mediated excitatory and GABAAR-mediated inhibitory synaptic transmission, suggesting that NMDARs play an important role in the establishment and maintenance of the E/I balance. In this review, we briefly introduced NMDARs, AMPARs and GABAARs, summarized the current studies on E/I balance mediated by NMDARs, and discussed the current advances in NMDAR-mediated AMPAR and GABAAR development. Specifically, we analyzed the role of NMDAR subunits in the establishment and maintenance of E/I balance, which may provide new therapeutic strategies for the recovery of E/I imbalance in neurological disorders.

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NMDARs regulate the excitatory-inhibitory balance within neural circuits

Show Author's information Liang Zhou1( )Xiaohui Sun1Jingjing Duan2
College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, Jiangsu, China
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, Guangdong, China


Excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) balance is essential for normal neural development, behavior and cognition. E/I imbalance leads to a variety of neurological disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. NMDA receptors (NMDARs) regulate AMPAR-mediated excitatory and GABAAR-mediated inhibitory synaptic transmission, suggesting that NMDARs play an important role in the establishment and maintenance of the E/I balance. In this review, we briefly introduced NMDARs, AMPARs and GABAARs, summarized the current studies on E/I balance mediated by NMDARs, and discussed the current advances in NMDAR-mediated AMPAR and GABAAR development. Specifically, we analyzed the role of NMDAR subunits in the establishment and maintenance of E/I balance, which may provide new therapeutic strategies for the recovery of E/I imbalance in neurological disorders.

Keywords: NMDAR, AMPAR, GABAAR, excitatory-inhibitory balance, neurological disorders


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Received: 18 May 2022
Revised: 20 June 2022
Accepted: 13 July 2022
Published: 27 February 2023
Issue date: March 2023


© The authors 2023.


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