Allosteric potentiators of metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 have differential effects on different signaling pathways in cortical astrocytes.

  • Zhang Y
  • Rodriguez A
  • Conn P
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The metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5) activates calcium mobilization and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation in cortical astrocytes. These are independent signaling systems, and they can be differentially regulated. We recently discovered two novel selective allosteric potentiators of mGluR5, 3,3'-difluorobenzaldazine (DFB) and N-{4-chloro-2-[(1,3-dioxo-1,3-dihydro-2H-isoindol-2-yl) methyl]phenyl}-2-hydroxybenzamide (CPPHA). In studies of mGluR5 activation of calcium transients in recombinant systems, both DFB and CPPHA are without effect on baseline calcium levels, but they induce parallel leftward shifts in the concentration-response curve to agonists. However, it is conceivable that these compounds will have differential effects on different signaling pathways in native systems. Here, we examined the effects of CPPHA and DFB on mGluR5-induced calcium transients and ERK1/2 phosphorylation in cultured rat cortical astrocytes. Both potentiators induced parallel leftward shifts of the concentration-response curves of DHPG- and glutamate-induced calcium transients in astrocytes. These effects are identical to their effects on mGluR5 expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 or Chinese hamster ovary cells. DFB induced a similar shift of concentration-response curve of DHPG-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Interestingly, CPPHA induced an increase in basal mGluR5-mediated ERK1/2 phosphorylation and potentiated the effect of low concentrations of agonists. In contrast, CPPHA significantly decreased ERK1/2 phosphorylation induced by high concentrations of agonists. Thus, CPPHA has qualitatively different effects on mGluR5-mediated calcium responses and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Together, these data provide evidence that different allosteric potentiators can differentially modulate coupling of a single receptor to different signaling pathways.

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  • Yongqin Zhang

  • Alice L Rodriguez

  • P Jeffrey Conn

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