GluN2B but Not GluN2A for Basal Dendritic Growth of Cortical Pyramidal Neurons

Steffen Gonda, Jan Giesen, Alexander Sieberath, Fabian West, Raoul Buchholz, Oliver Klatt, Tim Ziebarth, Andrea Räk, Sabine Kleinhubbert, Christian Riedel, Michael Hollmann, Mohammad I.K. Hamad, Andreas Reiner, Petra Wahle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


NMDA receptors are important players for neuronal differentiation. We previously reported that antagonizing NMDA receptors with APV blocked the growth-promoting effects evoked by the overexpression of specific calcium-permeable or flip-spliced AMPA receptor subunits and of type I transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins which both exclusively modify apical dendritic length and branching of cortical pyramidal neurons. These findings led us to characterize the role of GluN2B and GluN2A for dendritogenesis using organotypic cultures of rat visual cortex. Antagonizing GluN2B with ifenprodil and Ro25-6981 strongly impaired basal dendritic growth of supra- and infragranular pyramidal cells at DIV 5–10, but no longer at DIV 15–20. Growth recovered after washout, and protein blots revealed an increase of synaptic GluN2B-containing receptors as indicated by a enhanced phosphorylation of the tyrosine 1472 residue. Antagonizing GluN2A with TCN201 and NVP-AAM077 was ineffective at both ages. Dendrite growth of non-pyramidal interneurons was not altered. We attempted to overexpress GluN2A and GluN2B. However, although the constructs delivered currents in HEK cells, there were neither effects on dendrite morphology nor an enhanced sensitivity to NMDA. Further, co-expressing GluN1-1a and GluN2B did not alter dendritic growth. Visualization of overexpressed, tagged GluN2 proteins was successful after immunofluorescence for the tag which delivered rather weak staining in HEK cells as well as in neurons. This suggested that the level of overexpression is too weak to modify dendrite growth. In summary, endogenous GluN2B, but not GluN2A is important for pyramidal cell basal dendritic growth during an early postnatal time window.

Original languageEnglish
Article number571351
JournalFrontiers in Neuroanatomy
Publication statusPublished - Nov 13 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • ampakine CX546
  • biolistic transfection
  • GluN1
  • inhibition
  • rodent neocortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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