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glycine binding in the NMDA channel

Mark Bower markb at orl.mmc.com
Mon Nov 8 11:25:45 EST 1993

A few days ago, there was some discussion about the function/necessity of
glycine binding in the NMDA channel. The discussion acknowledged the fact
that glycine is indeed necessary for channel operation, but considered it
to be a non-issue due it's the high extracellular concentration. However,
I was browsing through the stacks this weekend and happened upon an article
in the September 1993 issue of "Behavioral and Neural Biology" which had
an article by Steele and Stewart which used 7-chlorokynurenate ( a glycine
binding site antagonist in the NMDA channel ) to modify learning in chicks.
If the idea that a voltage, NT and glycine dependant channel is not complex
enough for you, the paper also noted that behavior was modified ONLY when the
antagonist was applied to the left and not right hemisphere! The motto of
Neuroscience should be Lewis Carrol's quote "Curiouser and curiouser".

On another note, I also HIGHLY recommend Steven Rose's book _The Making of
Memory_ for any fellow non-specialists looking for a readbale and enter-
taining intro to neuroscience. It compares very well with Rosenberg's _The
Transformed Cell_ which centers on immunoscience and cancer research. Hope-
fully, more specialists will get the bug and write about some of their
experiences in science. I personally think such books are a super motivator
for tearing into the serious textbooks afterwards. Are there any other favorite
bioscience-intro books out there?

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