N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are ligand-gated ion channels that are activated by the neurotransmitter glutamate, mediate the slow component of excitatory neurotransmission in the central nervous system (CNS), and induce long-term changes in synaptic plasticity. NMDARs are non-selective cation channels that allow the influx of extracellular Na+ and Ca2+ and control cellular activity via both membrane depolarization and an increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration. The distribution, structure, and role of neuronal NMDARs have been extensively investigated and it is now known that they also regulate crucial functions in the non-neuronal cellular component of the CNS, i.e., astrocytes and cerebrovascular endothelial cells. In addition, NMDARs are expressed in multiple peripheral organs, including heart and systemic and pulmonary circulations. Herein, we survey the most recent information available regarding the distribution and function of NMDARs within the cardiovascular system. We describe the involvement of NMDARs in the modulation of heart rate and cardiac rhythm, in the regulation of arterial blood pressure, in the regulation of cerebral blood flow, and in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability. In parallel, we describe how enhanced NMDAR activity could promote ventricular arrhythmias, heart failure, pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH), and BBB dysfunction. Targeting NMDARs could represent an unexpected pharmacological strategy to reduce the growing burden of several life-threatening cardiovascular disorders.

The Emerging Role of N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) Receptors in the Cardiovascular System: Physiological Implications, Pathological Consequences, and Therapeutic Perspectives

Brunetti, Valentina;Moccia, Francesco
2023-01-01

Abstract

N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are ligand-gated ion channels that are activated by the neurotransmitter glutamate, mediate the slow component of excitatory neurotransmission in the central nervous system (CNS), and induce long-term changes in synaptic plasticity. NMDARs are non-selective cation channels that allow the influx of extracellular Na+ and Ca2+ and control cellular activity via both membrane depolarization and an increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration. The distribution, structure, and role of neuronal NMDARs have been extensively investigated and it is now known that they also regulate crucial functions in the non-neuronal cellular component of the CNS, i.e., astrocytes and cerebrovascular endothelial cells. In addition, NMDARs are expressed in multiple peripheral organs, including heart and systemic and pulmonary circulations. Herein, we survey the most recent information available regarding the distribution and function of NMDARs within the cardiovascular system. We describe the involvement of NMDARs in the modulation of heart rate and cardiac rhythm, in the regulation of arterial blood pressure, in the regulation of cerebral blood flow, and in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability. In parallel, we describe how enhanced NMDAR activity could promote ventricular arrhythmias, heart failure, pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH), and BBB dysfunction. Targeting NMDARs could represent an unexpected pharmacological strategy to reduce the growing burden of several life-threatening cardiovascular disorders.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1477736
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