Distribution of AMPA receptor subunits and TARPs in synaptic and extrasynaptic membranes of the adult rat nucleus accumbens

Carrie R. Ferrario, Jessica A. Loweth, Mike Milovanovic, Xiaoting Wang, Marina E. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


We characterized the distribution of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) subunits and the transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) γ-2 and γ-4 in adult rat nucleus accumbens (NAc) using a method that separates plasma membranes into synaptic membrane-enriched and extrasynaptic membrane-enriched fractions. We also measured GluA1 phosphorylated at serine 845 (pS845 GluA1) and serine 831 (pS831 GluA1). GluA1-3 protein levels and pS831 GluA1/total GluA1 were higher in synaptic membranes. However, pS845 GluA1/total GluA1 was higher in extrasynaptic membranes, consistent with a role for S845 phosphorylation in GluA1 insertion at extrasynaptic sites. Homeric GluA1 receptors were detected in extrasynaptic membranes, consistent with evidence for extrasynaptic Ca2+-permeable AMPARs in other systems. The TARP γ-2 was enriched in synaptic membranes, whereas γ-4 was mainly found in extrasynaptic membranes, suggesting distinct roles for these proteins in the NAc. These experiments provide fundamental information that will aid in the interpretation of studies on AMPAR-related plasticity in the NAc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-184
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 3 2011



  • Addiction
  • Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptor
  • NMDA receptor
  • Plasticity
  • Subcellular fractionation
  • TARP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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