Ifenprodil discriminates subtypes of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor: selectivity and mechanisms at recombinant heteromeric receptors
Molecular Pharmacology 44(4): 851-859
ISSN/ISBN: 0026-895X PMID: 7901753 Accession: 008813147
The effects of the atypical N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist ifenprodil were investigated by voltage-clamp recording of Xenopus oocytes expressing heteromeric NMDA receptors from cloned NR1 and NR2 subunit RNAs. In oocytes voltage-clamped at -70 mV, ifenprodil inhibited NMDA-induced currents at NR1A/NR2B receptors with high affinity (IC50 = 0.34 microM). The affinity of NR1A/NR2A receptors for ifenprodil (IC50 = 146 microM) was 400-fold lower than that of NR1A/NR2B receptors. The rate of onset of inhibition by low concentrations of ifenprodil acting at NR1A/NR2B receptors was considerably slower than the onset of inhibition seen with high concentrations of ifenprodil acting at NR1A/NR2A receptors. The onset and recovery of blockade by ifenprodil at NR1A/NR2B receptors were not activity dependent. The inhibitory effects of low concentrations of ifenprodil at NR1A/NR2B receptors were not voltage dependent. In contrast, the inhibitory effects of high concentrations of ifenprodil at NR1A/NR2A receptors were partially voltage dependent, and a greater inhibition of NMDA-induced currents was seen at hyperpolarized membrane potentials than at depolarized membrane potentials. The reversal potential of NMDA currents was not altered in the presence of ifenprodil. Ifenprodil may act as a weak open-channel blocker of NR1A/NR2A receptors. The degree of inhibition seen with 100 microM ifenprodil at NR1A/NR2A receptors was not altered by changes in the concentration of extracellular glycine. However, the inhibitory effect of 1 microM ifenprodil at NR1A/NR2B receptors was reduced by increasing the concentration of glycine. Thus, part of the mechanism of action of ifenprodil at NR1A/NR2B receptors may involve noncompetitive antagonism of the effects of glycine. These results indicate that the mechanism of action of ifenprodil, as well as the potency of this antagonist, is different at NR1A/NR2B and NR1A/NR2A receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes.