Metabotropic glutamate receptors: Their therapeutic potential in anxiety

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Psychiatric and neurological disorders are linked to changes in synaptic excitatory processes with a key role for glutamate, that is, the most abundant excitatory amino-acid. Molecular cloning of the metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors has led to the identification of eight mGlu receptors, which, in contrast to ligand-gated ion channels (responsible for fast excitatory transmission), modulate and fine-tune the efficacy of synaptic transmission. mGlu receptors are G protein-coupled and constitute a new group of "drugable" targets for the treatment of various CNS disorders. The recent discovery of small molecules that selectively bind to receptors of Groups I (mGlu1 and mGlu5) and II (mGlu2 and mGlu3) allowed significant advances in our understanding of the roles of these receptors in brain function and dysfunction including anxiety. Although investigation of the role of the Group III (mGlu4, 6, 7, and 8) receptors is less advanced, the generation of genetically manipulated animals and recent advances in the identification of subtype-selective compounds have revealed some first insights into the therapeutic potential of this group of receptors. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009.




Spooren, W., Lesage, A., Lavreysen, H., Gasparini, F., & Steckler, T. (2010). Metabotropic glutamate receptors: Their therapeutic potential in anxiety. Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, 2, 391–413.

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