Kainate receptors: from synaptic activity to disease

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Kainate receptors (KARs) are glutamate receptors that participate in the postsynaptic transmission of information and in the control of neuronal excitability, as well as presynaptically modulating the release of the neurotransmitters GABA and glutamate. These modulatory effects, general follow a biphasic pattern, with low KA concentrations provoking an increase in GABA and glutamate release, and higher concentrations mediating a decrease in the release of these neurotransmitters. In addition, KARs are involved in different forms of long- and short-term plasticity. Importantly, altered activity of these receptors has been implicated in different central nervous system diseases and disturbances. Here, we describe the pre- and postsynaptic actions of KARs, and the possible role of these receptors in disease, a field that has seen significant progress in recent years.
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FEBS Journal doi: 10.1111/febs.16081
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