• D-amino acid oxidase;
  • fura-2;
  • guinea pig;
  • multi-electrode array;
  • rat


D-Serine is an important signaling molecule throughout the central nervous system, acting as an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor coagonist. This study investigated the D-serine modulation of non-NMDA ionotropic glutamate receptors expressed by inner retinal neurons. We first identified that the degradation of endogenous retinal D-serine, by application of D-amino acid oxidase, caused an enhancement of kainate- and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazoleproprionic acid (AMPA) receptor-mediated calcium responses from the ganglion cell layer of the isolated rat retina and light-evoked responses obtained by multi-electrode array recordings from the guinea pig retina. Approximately 30–45% of cells were endogenously inhibited by D-serine, as suggested by the effect of D-amino acid oxidase. Conversely, bath application of D-serine caused a reduction in multi-electrode array recorded responses and decreased kainate, but not potassium-induced calcium responses, in a concentration-dependent manner (IC50, 280 μm). Using cultured retinal ganglion cells to reduce network influences, D-serine reduced kainate-induced calcium responses and AMPA induced whole-cell currents. Finally, the inhibitory effect of D-serine on the kainate-induced calcium response was abolished by IEM 1460, thereby identifying calcium-permeable AMPA receptors as a potential target for D-serine. To our knowledge, this is the first study to address specifically the effect of D-serine on AMPA/kainate receptors in intact central nervous system tissue, to identify its effect on calcium permeable AMPA receptors and to report the endogenous inhibition of AMPA/kainate receptors.