The GluN2C- and GluN2D-containing NMDA receptors are distinct from GluN2A- and GluN2B-containing receptors in many aspects including lower sensitivity to Mg 2+ block and lack of desensitization. Recent studies have highlighted the unique contribution of GluN2C and GluN2D subunits in various aspects of neuronal and circuit function and behavior, however a direct comparison of the effect of ablation of these subunits in mice on pure background strain has not been conducted. Using knockout-first strains for the GRIN2C and GRIN2D produced on pure C57BL/6N strain, we compared the effect of partial or complete ablation of GluN2C and GluN2D subunit on various behaviors relevant to mental disorders. A large number of behaviors described previously in GluN2C and GluN2D knockout mice were reproduced in these mice, however, some specific differences were also observed possibly representing strain effects. We also examined the response to NMDA receptor channel blockers in these mouse strains and surprisingly found that unlike previous reports GluN2D knockout mice were not resistant to phencyclidine-induced hyperlocomotion. Interestingly, the GluN2C knockout mice showed reduced sensitivity to phencyclidine-induced hyperlocomotion. We also found that NMDA receptor channel blocker produced a deficit in prepulse inhibition which was prevented by a GluN2C/2D potentiator in wildtype and GluN2C heterozygous mice but not in GluN2C knockout mice. Together these results demonstrate a unique role of GluN2C subunit in schizophrenia-like behaviors.
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