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Keywords:

  • Glycine;
  • Glutamate;
  • N-[1-(2-Thienyl)cyclohexyl]piper-idine;
  • Binding;
  • N-Methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor;
  • Kynurenic acid

Abstract Membranes from rat telencephalon contain a single class of strychnine-insensitive glycine sites. That these sites are associated with N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors is indicated by the observations that [3H]glycine binding is selectively modulated by NMDA receptor ligands and, conversely, that several amino acids interacting with the glycine sites increase [3H]N-[1-(2-thienyl)cyclohexyl]piper-idine ([3H]TCP) binding to the phencyclidine site of the NMDA receptor. The endogenous compound kynurenate and several related quinoline and quinoxaline derivatives inhibit glycine binding with affinities that are much higher than their affinities for glutamate binding sites. In contrast to glycine, kynurenate-type compounds inhibit [3H]TCP binding and thus are suggested to form a novel class of antagonists of the NMDA receptor acting through the glycine site. These results suggest the existence of a dual and opposite modulation of NMDA receptors by endogenous ligands.