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NMDA, AMPA and Kainate receptors are members of the ionotropic class of glutamate receptors. This heterogeneous group of ion channels exist as cation-selective tetramers formed by homo- and hetero-oligomeric assembly of subunits. Common structural features include an extracellular N'-terminal, three transmembrane domains, a channel lining re-entrant 'p-loop' and an intracellular C'-terminal.
Ionotropic glutamate receptors represent the major excitatory neurotransmitter pathway in the brain and consequently, they are essential for normal CNS function. However, they are also implicated in numerous pathologies including Alzheimer's disease, stroke, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, motor neuron disease and depression.
The key feature of drug addiction is the inability to stop using a drug despite clear evidence of harm. This poster describes the brain circuits associated with addiction, and provides an overview of the main classes of addictive drugs and the neurotransmitter systems that they target.
Major depressive disorder is characterized by depressed mood and a loss of interest and/or pleasure. Updated in 2015 this poster highlights presynaptic and postsynaptic targets for the potential treatment of major depressive disorder, as well as outlining the pharmacology of currently approved antidepressant drugs.
Recognition memory enables us to make judgements about whether or not we have encountered a particular stimulus before. This poster outlines the cellular mechanisms underlying recognition memory and its links to long-term depression, as well as the use of pharmacological intervention to assess the role of neurotransmitters in recognition memory.
Peripheral sensitization is the reduction in the threshold of excitability of sensory neurons that results in an augmented response to a given external stimulus. This poster outlines the excitatory and inhibitory signaling pathways involved in modulation of peripheral sensitization. The role of ion channels, GPCRs, neurotrophins, and cytokines in sensory neurons are also described.
Parkinson's disease (PD) causes chronic disability and is the second most common neurodegenerative condition. This poster outlines the neurobiology of the disease, as well as highlighting current therapeutic treatments for symptomatic PD, and emerging therapeutic strategies to delay PD onset and progression.