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Neuroscience. 1993 Feb;52(3):481-8.

Phenylglycine derivatives as new pharmacological tools for investigating the role of metabotropic glutamate receptors in the central nervous system.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Bristol, U.K.


The possible roles of G-protein coupled metabotropic glutamate receptors in central nervous function are currently the focus of intensive investigation. The complexity of effects produced by agonists at these receptors probably reflects the activity of a range of sub-types. The metabotropic glutamate receptors first described are linked to phospholipase C, mediating phosphoinositide hydrolysis and release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores. A substance generally considered to be a selective agonist for these receptors is (1S,3R)-1-aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid (ACPD). This substance not only stimulates phosphoinositide hydrolysis, but also inhibits cyclic AMP formation. A family of metabotropic glutamate receptors, incorporating both phospholipase C- and adenylcyclase-linked sub-types has been cloned. Various effects of metabotropic glutamate receptor agonists on membrane ion fluxes and synaptic events have been reported, including neuronal depolarization and/or excitation, hyperpolarization, inhibition of Ca(2+)-dependent and voltage-gated K+ currents, potentiation of N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced responses, depression of synaptic excitation and either induction or augmentation of long-term potentiation. To clarify the role of metabotropic glutamate receptors in central nervous activity and to aid the characterization of the various receptor types that may be involved, a range of highly selective agonists and antagonists is required. To date, currently available antagonists such as L-2-amino-3-phosphonopropionate and L-aspartic acid-beta-hydroxamate appear to be unselective and insufficiently potent. We report here the actions of three phenylglycine derivatives, the particular agonist and/or antagonist properties of which may help to elucidate the roles of metabotropic glutamate receptors in central nervous activity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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