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Kainate Receptors in the Striatum: Implications for Excitotoxicity in Huntington's Disease
Final rept. 15 Jul 1999-14 Jul 2005
EMORY UNIV ATLANTA GA
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The goal of the work presented in this report was to understand the localization and functior of kainate receptors KARs in the basal ganglia, a group of brain structures affected in Huntingtons and Parkinsons diseases. KARs are part of a family called ionotropic glutamate receptors. Using specific antibodies and glutamate-related compounds, we have achieved successfully a series of studies of the localization and function of these receptors in the striatum and globus pallidus, two key structures of the basal ganglia circuitry. Our findingC reveal three main features about KARs 1 They have a pattern of distribution strikingly different from other ionotropic glutamate receptors, 2 They mediate slow and long-lasting excitation and 3 They are often expressed pre-synaptically where they act as auto- or heteroreceptors to modulate glutamatergic or GABAergic transmission. These findings pave the way for a better understanding of KARs function in the basal ganglia and provide novel targets for therapeutic approaches in movement disorders.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE