N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit expression and phosphorylation following excitotoxic spinal cord injury in rats

Robert M. Caudle, Federico M. Perez, Christopher King, Chen Guang Yu, Robert P. Yezierski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The role of NMDA receptor expression and post-translational modification in the pathological and behavioral consequences of injury were examined in rats receiving spinal injections of quisqualate. Spinal cords were removed 3 days following the development of excessive grooming behavior or, if the spontaneous pain-like behavior was not observed, 13 days following injections. Western blots from the spinal tissue demonstrated that non-grooming animals had elevated protein levels of the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor. These subunits did not demonstrate an enhanced level of phosphorylation. NR1 protein in grooming rats was not elevated, but there was a significant increase in NR1 serine phosphorylation. These findings suggest that excitotoxic lesions of the spinal cord induce both NR1 expression and NR1 serine phosphorylation. However, the injury-induced excessive grooming behavior is only associated with phosphorylation of the NR1 subunit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-40
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 25 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grants NS40096 (RPY) and DA13166 (RMC), and the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Trust Fund (RMC).


  • Excitotoxicity
  • N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptors
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein expression
  • Quisqualate
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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