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Alasdair Gibb

Department of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology

Ion channel receptors and synaptic transmission

Dr Gibb’s research interests are in the properties of glutamate receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). These are by far the most common receptors involved in fast, excitatory, synaptic transmission between central neurones. Of the two most common types of glutamate receptor, Dr Gibb’s main interest is in the NMDA receptor. The NMDA receptor generates a relatively slow synaptic current which is partly carried by calcium ions. This calcium influx into a neurone is critically involved in integration of synaptic activity by postsynaptic density proteins such as calmodulin, calcineurin and calcium and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase. Calcium influx through NMDA receptor-channels is also involved in neuronal cell death as a result of stroke or epileptic seizures. The properties of NMDA receptors and how they are affected by drugs are investigated by electrophysiological methods, particularly by single ion channel recording of NMDA receptors in the hippocampus and basal ganglia neurones involved in Parkinson’s disease. The aim of the experiments is to provide a quantitative description of the NMDA receptor properties. The overall intention is to improve understanding of central synaptic transmission.




Lansdell SJ, Gee VJ, Harkness PC, Doward AI, Baker ER, Gibb AJ, & Millar NS (2005)
RIC-3 enhances functional expression of multiple nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes in mammalian cells.
Molecular Pharmacology, 68(5):1431-8

Attwell D. & Gibb A (2005)
Neuroenergetics and the kinetic design of excitatory synapses.
Nature Reviews in the Neurosciences, 6(11):841-849.

Jones S. & Gibb AJ.  (2005)
Functional NR2B- and NR2D-containing NMDA receptor channels in rat substantia nigra dopaminergic neurones.
Journal of Physiology, 569: 209-221

Gibb, A.J.  (2004)
NMDA receptor subunit gating – uncovered.
TINS, 27(1): 7-10

Rycroft B.K. & Gibb A.J.  (2004)
Regulation of single NMDA receptor channel activity by alpha-actinin and calmodulin in rat hippocampal granule cells.
Journal of Physiology, 557:795-808

Rycroft B.K. & Gibb A.J.  (2004)
Inhibitory interactions of calcineurin (phosphatase 2B) and calmodulin on rat hippocampal NMDA receptors.
Neuropharmacology, 47:505–514

Rudhard Y, Kneussel M, Nassar MA, Rast GF, Annala AJ, Chen PE, Tigaret CM, Dean I, Roes J, Gibb AJ, Hunt SP, & Schoepfer R.  (2003)
Absence of Whisker-related pattern formation in mice with NMDA receptors lacking coincidence detection properties and calcium signaling.
Journal of Neuroscience, 23(6):2323-2332

Piña-Crespo, J.C. & Gibb, A.J.  (2002)
Subtypes of NMDA receptors in new-born rat hippocampal granule cells.
Journal of Physiology, 541:41-64

Rycroft, B.K. & Gibb, A.J (2002)
Direct effects of calmodulin on NMDA receptor single channel gating in rat hippocampal granule cells.
Journal of Neuroscience, 20(20):8860–8868

Gibb, A.J.  (2002)
Receptors linked to ion channels: activation and block.
In: Textbook of Receptor Pharmacology. pp 183-212. 2nd Ed. Foreman, J.C. & Johansen, T. CRC Press Inc. Florida, USA

Whitlock, A., Burnstock, G. & Gibb, A.J (2001)
The single-channel properties of purinergic P2X ATP receptors in outside-out patches from rat hypothalamic paraventricular parvocells
Pflügers Arch - European Journal of Physiology, 443:115-122.

Green, G.M. & Gibb, A.J.  (2001)
Characterization of the single-channel properties of NMDA receptors in laminae I and II of the dorsal horn of neonatal rat spinal cord.
European Journal of Neuroscience, 14:1590-1602.

Wong, A.Y.C., Burnstock, G. & Gibb, A.J.  (2000)
Single channel properties of P2X ATP receptors in outside-out patches from rat hippocampal granule cells.
Journal of Physiology, 527.3, 529-547


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