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Exp Brain Res. 2001 Jan;136(1):25-40.

Metabotropic glutamate receptors modify ionotropic glutamate responses in neocortical pyramidal cells and interneurons.

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Department of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of California, Riverside 92521, USA.


In neocortex glutamate activates ionotropic and metabotropic receptors (mGluRs). Whole-cell current-clamp recordings in the in vitro rat auditory cortex at 32 degrees C were used to explore the role that mGluRs have in regulation of AMPA/kainate, NMDA, and GABA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. Our findings are: (a) The fast EPSP (AMPA/kainate), slow EPSP (NMDA), and IPSPs (GABAA, GABAB), elicited in pyramidal neurons are reduced in the presence of (1S,3R)-ACPD (mGluR agonist) with greatest effect on the slow IPSP>fast IPSP>>fast EPSP. The effect is likely the result of ACPD acting at presynaptic mGluRs because the probability of release of glutamate and GABA is reduced in the presence of ACPD, intracellular infusion of a G protein antagonist (GDPPS) did not block the effect of ACPD, nor were iontophoretic kainic acid or NMDA-induced depolarizations reduced by ACPD. (b) The slow EPSP is enhanced following washout of ACPD and enhancement is not due to disinhibition because it is present in the absence of IPSPs, but if IPSPs are present, its magnitude can be influenced. Iontophoretic NMDA responses are enhanced in the presence of ACPD, an effect blocked by GDPbetaS and heparin (intracellular inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor antagonist). Taken together, this evidence suggests that enhancement is a result of group I postsynaptic mGluR activation. (c) In fast-spiking cells ACPD reduces the EPSP (AMPA/kainate and NMDA-mediated). This action is likely presynaptic because it persists when GDPbetaS is in the cells. (d) The rate of spike discharge recorded from fast-spiking cells is accelerated in ACPD but does not change in the presence of GDPbetaS, suggesting a postsynaptic effect. Our data indicate that mGluRs can influence neocortical synaptic transmission in complex ways by acting presynaptically and postsynaptically.

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