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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2003 Sep;24(9):461-70.

The distinct role of mGlu1 receptors in post-ischemic neuronal death.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Farmacologia Preclinica e Clinica, Universit√† di Firenze, Viale G. Pieraccini 6, 50139 Florence, Italy.


Metabotropic glutamate receptors of the mGlu(1) and mGlu(5) subtypes exhibit a high degree of sequence homology and are both coupled to phospholipase C and intracellular Ca(2+) mobilization. However, functional differences have been detected for these receptor subtypes when they are coexpressed in the same neuronal populations. Experimental evidence indicates that mGlu(1) and mGlu(5) receptors play a differential role in models of cerebral ischemia and that only mGlu(1) receptors are implicated in the pathways leading to post-ischemic neuronal injury. The localization of mGlu(1) receptors in GABA-containing interneurons rather than in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells that are vulnerable to ischemia has prompted studies that have provided a new viewpoint on the neuroprotective mechanism of mGlu(1) receptor antagonists. The hypothesis predicts that these pharmacological agents attenuate post-ischemic injury by enhancing GABA-mediated neurotransmission.

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