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Pharmacology and functions of metabotropic glutamate receptors.

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1
Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA. pconn@emory.edu

Abstract

In the mid to late 1980s, studies were published that provided the first evidence for the existence of glutamate receptors that are not ligand-gated cation channels but are coupled to effector systems through GTP-binding proteins. Since those initial reports, tremendous progress has been made in characterizing these metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), including cloning and characterization of cDNA that encodes a family of eight mGluR subtypes, several of which have multiple splice variants. Also, tremendous progress has been made in developing new highly selective mGluR agonists and antagonists and toward determining the physiologic roles of the mGluRs in mammalian brain. These findings have exciting implications for drug development and suggest that the mGluRs provide a novel target for development of therepeutic agents that could have a significant impact on neuropharmacology.

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