Acute Regulation of Synaptic Transmission by Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors

  • Steven R. Glaum
  • Richard J. Miller
Part of the The Receptors book series (REC)


Two principal classes of glutamate receptors have been identified: (1) ligand-gated ion channels and (2) G-protein-coupled “metabotropic” receptors (Sugiyama et al., 1989). Activation of ionotropic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA), kainate (KA), and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors represents the principal route of fast excitatory transmission in the CNS. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that synaptic transmission also appears to be influenced by the actions of glutamate on metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) at both pre- and postsynaptic sites. At least seven mGluR subtypes (mGluR1–7) plus several splice varients have been identified by molecular biological methods (see Chapter 1). Expression of these receptors in a variety of cell types has shown that they are capable of interacting with most of the commonly recognized second-messenger systems. As detailed elsewhere in this volume, each expressed mGluR subtype also displays unique pharmacological specificity and shows a particular preference for one of the effector systems (Nakajima et al., 1993; Tanabe et al., 1993). However, which mGluRs mediate the various acute effects of mGluR activation on synaptic transmission and the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. In this chapter, we will review the current understanding regarding acute regulation of synaptic transmission by mGluRs and examine possible mechanisms of this regulation.


Glutamate Receptor Synaptic Transmission Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Cerebellar Granule Cell Purkinje Neuron 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

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  • Steven R. Glaum
  • Richard J. Miller

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