Metabotropic Actions of Kainate Receptors in the Control of Glutamate Release in the Hippocampus

  • Antonio Rodríguez-MorenoEmail author
  • Talvinder S. SihraEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 717)


Kainate-type glutamate receptors (KARs) structurally present the credentials of the other ionotropic glutamate receptor (iGluR) family members (NMDA and AMPA receptors), but functionally often purport examples of a metabotropic mode of operation. In the present chapter, we describe these metabotropic roles of KARs in the modulation of glutamate release in the hippocampus at CA3 Schaffer Collateral (SC)-CA1 Pyramidal Cell (PC) synapses and dentate gyrus granule cell Mossy Fiber (MF)-CA3 PC synapses. As autoreceptors on SC terminals, KARs inhibit the release of glutamate at SC-CA1 PC synapses through a mechanism dependent on a pertussis toxin-sensitive Gi/o protein thought to couple via its Gβγ subunit to a decrease in Ca2+ channel function. At MF-CA3 PC synapses, autoreceptors on MF terminals respond diametrically depending on the agonist concentration. At low KA concentrations (< 100 nM), a G-protein-independent process invokes the activation of proteins kinase A (PKA) to effect a facilitation of glutamate release. This facilitation possibly involves the Ca2+-dependent (rather than GPCR-dependent) activation of adenylate cyclase (AC). At high KA concentrations (<100 nM), a mechanism involving a pertussis toxin-sensitive Gi/o protein is invoked to inhibit AC activity and thereby suppress PKA activity. Taken together with the heterosynaptic regulation of GABA release by KARs working with a metabotropic modus operandi, there is therefore compelling evidence that these ionotropic glutamate receptors are involved in a noncanonical modulation of glutamate release that does not rely on their typical ionotropic activity.


Adenylate Cyclase Glutamate Release Mossy Fiber Domoic Acid Kainate Receptor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Fisiología, Anatomía y Biologfa CelularUniversidad Pablo de OlavideSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and PharmacologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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