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NMDA receptors of blood lymphocytes anticipate cognitive performance variations in healthy volunteers

Sadat-Shirazi, Mitra-Sadat, Ashabi, Ghorbangol, Hessari, Mohammadreza Bahrami, Khalifeh, Solmaz, Neirizi, Nazanin Monfared, Matloub, Maral, Safarzadeh, Mohammad, Vousooghi, Nasim, Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza
Physiology & behavior 2019 v.201 pp. 53-58
adults, animal models, brain, cognition, gene expression, lymphocytes, memory, memory disorders, men, messenger RNA, neurons, receptors, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, screening, volunteers
Working memory (WM) system, temporarily stores information and uses this information for complex cognitive tasks. WM connects memory, emotional feelings and perception. Evidence compelling that N-methyl d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) expression relatively affect WM performance in animal models. It has been suggested some peripheral blood lymphocyte's (PBL) receptors are similar with neuronal receptors in the brain, so we measured PBL's receptors changes as a marker of the neuronal receptor. In this study, we examined one hundred adult men with Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) as a tool for primary screening for executive function (EF) which include WM. Then, we selected fifty individuals with high and low WCST scores. With digit span and symmetry span tasks, we screened 20 samples for high WM group and 19 samples for low WM group. After separating PBL, we measured mRNA expression level changes in NMDAR subunits with Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction method. We demonstrated that GluN2D increased and GluN3A decreased in individuals with high WM compared with the low WM (P < .01 and P < .001, respectively). The expression levels of GluN2A, GluN2B, and GluN3B were not altered between two groups (P > .05). Modifying the PBL receptors could be future approaches to defend memory loss and concentrate the senses over WM-related processes in physiological and pathological statuses. We hypothesized that increasing in GluN2 subunits and decreasing in GluN3 subunits led to improving current via NMDAR and subsequently affect WM.