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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2002 Dec;283(6):G1282-9. Epub 2002 Aug 28.

Activation of group II mGlu receptors inhibits voltage-gated Ca2+ currents in myenteric neurons.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York 11203, USA.


The enteric nervous system (ENS) contains functional ionotropic and group I metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors. In this study, we determined whether enteric neurons express group II mGlu receptors and the effects of mGlu receptor activation on voltage-gated Ca(2+) currents in these cells. (2R,4R)-4-aminopyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxylate (2R,4R-APDC), a group II mGlu receptor agonist, reversibly suppressed the Ba(2+) current in myenteric neurons isolated from the guinea pig ileum. Significant inhibition was also produced by L-glutamate and the group II mGlu receptor agonists, (2S,2'R,3'R)-2-(2',3'-dicarboxycyclopropyl)glycine (DCG-IV) and (2S,1'S,2'S)-2-(2-carboxycyclopropyl)glycine (L-CCG-I), with a rank order potency of 2R,4R-APDC > DCG-IV > L-glutamate > L-CCG-I, and was reduced by the group II mGlu receptor antagonist LY-341495. Pretreatment of neurons with pertussis toxin (PTX) reduced the action of mGlu receptor agonists, suggesting participation of G(i)/G(o) proteins. Finally, omega-conotoxin GVIA blocked current suppression by DCG-IV, suggesting modulation of N-type calcium channels. mGlu2/3 receptor immunoreactivity was displayed by neurons in culture and in the submucosal and myenteric plexus of the ileum. A subset of these cells displayed a glutamatergic phenotype as shown by the expression of vesicular glutamate transporter 2. These results provide the first evidence for functional group II mGlu receptors in the ENS and show that these receptors are PTX sensitive and negatively coupled to N-type calcium channels. Inhibition of N-type calcium channels produced by activation of group II mGlu receptors may modulate enteric neurotransmission.

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