- In laymens, it prevents the combining of BAD/BAX with other proteins so they cannot form the active complexes.
The balance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and neutralisation is important to protect against cellular damage and death. NMDAR activity seems to play a role in the regulation of a cell’s vulnerability to oxidative stress: neurons with higher NMDAR activity withstand oxidative damage more than electrically quiet neurons. Conversely, if NMDAR activity is blocked, cells become highly vulnerable to oxidative damage.
The proposed mechanism behind this is that synaptic activity exerts changes in the thioredoxin-peroxiredoxin system. (Thioredoxin reduces (chemically) hyperoxidised peroxiredoxins (antioxidant enzymes)- freeing them to reduce ROS.) Synaptic activity also promotes a series of gene-expression changes that boost anti-oxidant defenses e.g. inhibition of thioredoxin inhibitor TXNIP (a FOXO target gene).