Nmda receptor function the nmda receptor is involved in the long term potentiation of an action potential full activation of nmda receptors is both voltage gated and ligand gated the ion channels will only open if the post synaptic membrane has already been depolarized and the neurotransmitters glutamate and glycine are attached. Nmda receptors nmdars are glutamate gated cation channels with high calcium permeability that play important roles in many aspects of the biology of higher organisms they are critical for the development of the central nervous system cns generation of rhythms for breathing and locomotion and the processes underlying learning memory and neuroplasticity. Nmda receptors typically form tetrameric structures with nr1 dimerizing with either another nr1 subunit or with a combination of nr2 and nr3 subunits it is important to highlight several features of the nmda receptor in order to appreciate its physiological activation nmda receptors function as physiological coincidence detectors. The main difference between ampa and nmda is that only the sodium and potassium influx occur in ampa receptors whereas in nmda receptors calcium influx occurs in addition to sodium and potassium influx furthermore ampa receptors do not contain a magnesium ion block while nmda contains a magnesium ion block in the core ampa and nmda are two types of ionotropic glutamate receptors
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