Chapter

Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors

ROBERT BALÁZS, RICHARD J. BRIDGES and CARL W. COTMAN

in Excitatory Amino Acid Transmission in Health and Disease

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195150025
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199865079 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195150025.003.0007
Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors

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Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are a distinct family of excitatory amino acid receptors. Unlike the ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), which constitute cation-specific ion channels and mediate fast excitatory synaptic responses, the more recently characterized mGluRs are coupled to a variety of signal transduction pathways via guanine nucleotide binding proteins (G proteins), They produce alterations in intracellular second messengers, affect ion channels, generate relatively slow synaptic responses, and modulate synaptic transmission. In addition, recent observations indicate that G protein-coupled receptors, including mGluRs, are key components in multiprotein signaling assemblies that facilitate interactions with iGluRs and protein kinase cascades, such as the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. The prevalence of glutamate as a neurotransmitter, in combination with the widespread distribution of mGluRs, points to this system as a major modulator of second messengers in the mammalian central nervous system. This chapter discusses the molecular structure of mGluRs, along with their distribution, desensitization, effects on neurotransmission and ion channels, regulation of plasma membrane ion channels and intracellular calcium stores by Group I mGluRs, and pharmacology.

Keywords: metabotropic glutamate receptors; ion channels; second messengers; neurotransmission; desensitization; pharmacology; molecular structure; glutamate

Chapter.  18516 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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