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AMPA receptors are glutamate-gated ion channels, present in a wide range of neuron types and in glial cells. Their main role is to mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission, and therefore, they are critical for normal brain function. In neurons, AMPA receptors undergo constitutive and activity-dependent trafficking between the synaptic, extrasynaptic and intracellular pools. The kinetics of AMPA receptor trafficking is crucial for the precise functioning of both individual neurons and neural networks involved in information processing and learning. Many of the neurological diseases evoked by neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative malfunctions or traumatic injuries are caused by impaired synaptic function in the central nervous system. For example, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), tumors, seizures, ischemic strokes, and traumatic brain injury are all characterized by impaired glutamate homeostasis and associated neuronal death, typically caused by excitotoxicity. Given the important role of AMPA receptors in neuronal function, it is not surprising that perturbations in AMPA receptor trafficking are associated with these neurological disorders. In this book chapter, we will first introduce the structure, physiology and synthesis of AMPA receptors, followed by an in-depth description of the molecular mechanisms that control AMPA receptor endocytosis and surface levels under basal conditions or synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will discuss how impairments in AMPA receptor trafficking, particularly endocytosis, contribute to the pathophysiology of various neurological disorders and what efforts are being made to therapeutically target this process. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Norbert Bencsik, Carlos Omar Oueslati Morales, Angelika Hausser, Katalin Schlett. Endocytosis of AMPA receptors: Role in neurological conditions. Progress in molecular biology and translational science. 2023;196:59-97

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PMID: 36813366

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