Co-localization of NMDA receptors and AMPA receptors in neurons of the vestibular nuclei of rats

L. W. Chen, Kin Lam Yung, Y. S. Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We are interested in studying the co-localization of NMDA glutamate receptor subunits (NR1, NR2A/B) and AMPA glutamate receptor subunits (GluR1, GluR2, GluR2/3 and GluR4) in individual neurons of the rat vestibular nuclei. Immunoreactivity for NR1, NR2A/B, GluR1, GluR2, GluR2/3 and GluR4 was found in the somata and dendrites of neurons in the four major subdivisions (superior, medial, lateral, and spinal vestibular nuclei) and in two minor groups (groups x and y) of the vestibular nuclei. Double immunofluorescence showed that all the NR1-containing neurons exhibited NR2A/B immunoreactivity, indicating that native NMDA receptors are composed of NR1 and NR2A/B in a hetero-oligomeric configuration. Co-expression of NMDA receptor subunits and AMPA receptor subunits was demonstrated by double labeling of NR1/GluR1, NR1/GluR2/3, NR1/GluR4 and NR2A/B/GluR2 in individual vestibular nuclear neurons. All NR1-containing neurons expressed GluR2/3 immunoreactivity, and all NR2A/B-containing neurons expressed GluR2 immunoreactivity. However, only about 52% of NR1-immunoreactive neurons exhibited GluR1 immunoreactivity and 46% of NR1-containing neurons showed GluR4 immunoreactivity. The present data reveal that NMDA receptors are co-localized with variants of AMPA receptors in a large proportion of vestibular nuclear neurons. These results suggest that cross-modulation between NMDA receptors and AMPA receptors may occur in individual neurons of the vestibular nuclei during glutamate-mediated excitatory neurotransmission and may in turn contribute to synaptic plasticity within the vestibular nuclei. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-97
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2000

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • AMPA receptor
  • Co-localization
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • NMDA receptor
  • Vestibular nucleus


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