- Wills TA, Winder DG. Ethanol effects on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine. 2013 Apr;3(4). a012161. PMID: 23426579 [PubMed].
The extended amygdala is a series of interconnected, embryologically similar series of nuclei in the brain that are thought to play key roles in aspects of alcohol dependence, specifically in stress-induced increases in alcohol-seeking behaviors. Plasticity of excitatory transmission in these and other brain regions is currently an intense area of scrutiny as a mechanism underlying aspects of addiction. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NMDARs) play a critical role in plasticity at excitatory synapses and have been identified as major molecular targets of ethanol. Thus, this article will explore alcohol and NMDAR interactions first at a general level and then focusing within the extended amygdala, in particular on the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST).