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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jun 14;108(24):9993-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100548108. Epub 2011 May 31.

Enhancement of CA3 hippocampal network activity by activation of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors.

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  • 1Brain Research Institute, University of Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


Impaired function or expression of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRIIs) is observed in brain disorders such as schizophrenia. This class of receptor is thought to modulate activity of neuronal circuits primarily by inhibiting neurotransmitter release. Here, we characterize a postsynaptic excitatory response mediated by somato-dendritic mGluRIIs in hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells and in stratum oriens interneurons. The specific mGluRII agonists DCG-IV or LCCG-1 induced an inward current blocked by the mGluRII antagonist LY341495. Experiments with transgenic mice revealed a significant reduction of the inward current in mGluR3(-/-) but not in mGluR2(-/-) mice. The excitatory response was associated with periods of synchronized activity at theta frequency. Furthermore, cholinergically induced network oscillations exhibited decreased frequency when mGluRIIs were blocked. Thus, our data indicate that hippocampal responses are modulated not only by presynaptic mGluRIIs that reduce glutamate release but also by postsynaptic mGluRIIs that depolarize neurons and enhance CA3 network activity.

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