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Curr Top Med Chem. 2005;5(9):885-95.

Targeting the metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR4 for the treatment of diseases of the central nervous system.

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Neuroscience Drug Discovery--Movement Disorders Research, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., PO Box 4, West Point, PA 19486, USA.


Over the last several years a great deal of interest has been focused on the metabotropic glutamate receptors as potential targets for the treatment of a variety of disorders of the central nervous system. Recently, selective agonist or allosteric potentiators of mGluR4, one of the group III mGluRs, have been proposed as potential novel therapeutics for the palliative treatment of Parkinson's disease and some forms of epilepsy. mGluR4 stands out amongst the group III mGluRs due to its relatively restricted localization and apparent role in several key neuronal circuits. Work from a number of laboratories has led to the development of more selective tools for the study of mGluR4, as well as refined models of the structure and function of this receptor. In addition, a growing body of literature suggests that mGluR4 plays a key neuroprotective role in broad spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders. It is hoped that this increased understanding of the role of mGluR4 combined with more detailed structural information will spur the development of better pharmacological tools, and ultimately to novel clinical therapy.

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