Insulin potentiates N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor activity in Xenopus oocytes and rat hippocampus

Lifei Liu, James C. Brown, Wallace W. Webster, Richard A. Morrisett, Daniel T. Monaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Growth factor signal transduction pathways have recently been shown to affect voltage-gated ion channel activity. In this study we report that insulin can modulate the activity of a ligand-gated ion channel, the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. In Xenopus oocytes, brief insulin exposure rapidly potentiated NR1a/NR2A and NR1a/NR2B receptor responses 2-3 fold and weakly potentiated NR1a/NR2C and NR1a/NR2D mediated-responses. Insulin potentiation of NR1a/NR2A receptor responses was significantly blocked by staurosporine, suggesting kinase involvement in insulin action. Insulin modulation of native NMDA receptors is suggested by the observation that insulin potentiated the NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic component in hippocampal slices. Regulation of NMDA receptor activity by growth factors may account for previous observations of growth factor modulation of central nervous system excitotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-8
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2 1995


  • Growth factors
  • Hippocampus
  • IGF-1
  • Insulin
  • N-methyl-d-aspartate
  • Oocytes
  • PKC
  • Phorbol ester
  • Synaptic transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Insulin potentiates N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor activity in Xenopus oocytes and rat hippocampus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this