In postnatal development, GluN2B-containing NMDARs are critical for the functional maturation of glutamatergic synapses. GluN2B-containing NMDARs prevail until the second postnatal week when GluN2A subunits are progressively added, conferring mature properties to NMDARs. In cortical principal neurons, deletion of GluN2B results in an increase in functional AMPAR synapses, suggesting that GluN2B-containing NMDARs set a brake on glutamate synapse maturation. The function of GluN2B in the maturation of glutamatergic inputs to cortical interneurons is not known. To examine the function of GluN2B in interneurons, we generated mutant mice with conditional deletion of GluN2B in interneurons (GluN2B(DeltaGAD67)). In GluN2B(DeltaGAD67) mice interneurons distributed normally in cortical brain regions. After the second postnatal week, GluN2B(DeltaGAD67) mice developed hippocampal seizures and died shortly thereafter. Before the onset of seizures, GluN2B-deficient hippocampal interneurons received fewer glutamatergic synaptic inputs than littermate controls, indicating that GluN2B-containing NMDARs positively regulate the maturation of glutamatergic input synapses in interneurons. These findings suggest that GluN2B-containing NMDARs keep the circuit activity under control by promoting the maturation of excitatory synapses in interneurons.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published