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J Neurophysiol. 1997 Jul;78(1):539-44.

Role of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors in the patterning of epileptiform activities in vitro.

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Department of Neurology, State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, 11203, USA.


In guinea pig hippocampal slices, picrotoxin elicited spontaneous epileptiform bursts 300-550 ms in duration. Additional application of (R,S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine or (S)-3-hydroxyphenylglycine, agonists specific for group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), or (1S,3R)-1-aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid, a broad-spectrum mGluR agonist, converted picrotoxin-induced interictal bursts into prolonged discharges measured on the order of seconds. The prolonged discharges induced by selective group I mGluR agonist continued to be produced for hours after agonist removal. The antagonists (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine and (+)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine had no effect on the duration of picrotoxin-induced interictal bursts. However, after agonist exposure, the persistent prolonged discharges occurring in the absence of agonist were reversibly suppressed by the antagonists, suggesting that the activity is maintained via endogenous activation of group I mGluRs by synaptically released glutamate. Our results suggest that, under some conditions, activation of group I mGluRs produces long-lasting enhancement of synaptic responses, mediated at least in part by autopotentiation of the group I mGluR response itself, which may result in the production of seizure discharges and contribute to epileptogenesis.

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