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NMDA receptor

The ''N''-methyl--aspartate receptor (also known as the NMDA receptor or NMDAR), is a glutamate receptor and ion channel found in neurons. The NMDA receptor is one of three types of ionotropic glutamate receptors, the other two being AMPA and kainate receptors. Depending on its subunit composition, its ligands are glutamate and glycine (or -serine). However, the binding of the ligands is typically not sufficient to open the channel as it may be blocked by Mg ions which are only removed when the neuron is sufficiently depolarized. Thus, the channel acts as a “coincidence detector” and only once both of these conditions are met, the channel opens and it allows positively charged ions (cations) to flow through the cell membrane.

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