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J Neurochem. 2003 Dec;87(5):1204-12.

Inhibition of non-vesicular glutamate release by group III metabotropic glutamate receptors in the nucleus accumbens.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.


Previous in vitro studies have shown that group III metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) regulate synaptic glutamate release. The present study used microdialysis to characterize this regulation in vivo in rat nucleus accumbens. Reverse dialysis of the group III mGluR agonist l-(+)-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (L-AP4) decreased, whereas the antagonist (R,S)-alpha-methylserine-O-phosphate (MSOP) increased the extracellular level of glutamate. The decrease by L-AP4 or the increase by MSOP was antagonized by co-administration of MSOP or L-AP4, respectively. Activation of mGluR4a by (1S,3R,4S)-1-aminocyclopentane-1,2,4-tricarboxylic acid or mGluR6 by 2-amino-4-(3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazol-4-yl)butyric acid had no effect on extracellular glutamate. (R,S)-4-Phosphonophenylglycine (PPG), another group III agonist with high affinity for mGluR4/6/8, reduced extracellular glutamate only at high concentrations capable of binding to mGluR7. The increase in extracellular glutamate by MSOP was tetrodotoxin-independent, and resistant to both the L-type and N-type Ca2+ channel blockers. L-AP4 failed to block 30 mm K+-induced vesicular glutamate release. Blockade of glutamate uptake by d,l-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate caused a Ca2+-independent elevation in extracellular glutamate that was reversed by L-AP4. Finally, (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine, an inhibitor of cystine-glutamate antiporters, attenuated the L-AP4-induced reduction in extracellular glutamate. Together, these data indicate that group III mGluRs regulate in vivo extracellular glutamate in the nucleus accumbens by inhibiting non-vesicular glutamate release.

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