NMDA receptors and associated signaling pathways: a role in knee joint blood flow regulation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Blood flow changes in response to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activation were assessed using a laser Doppler flowmeter. Treatment of the joint with NMDA (1 mM; 0.1 ml) resulted in a significant increase in blood flow while the control phosphate buffer (PB) injection (0.1 M; pH 7.4) had no effect. Blocking NMDA receptors with the antagonist MK 801 (0.1 mM) prevented the increase in blood flow observed following NMDA injection, suggesting specificity of action. The NMDA-evoked vasodilation has been shown to be mediated through activation of several intracellular signaling transduction molecules, namely nitric oxide, release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and CAM kinase II. Blocking actions of these molecules with L-NAME (10 mg/ml), CGRP(8-37) (0.01 mM) and KN-93 (1 microM), respectively, prevented the increase in blood flow induced by NMDA in the present study. These results provide new evidence implicating NMDA receptors in knee joint inflammatory responses.

publication date

  • September 2004