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Current Neuropharmacology



ISSN (Print): 1570-159X
ISSN (Online): 1875-6190

Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 7: From Synaptic Function to Therapeutic Implications

Author(s): Enza Palazzo, Ida Marabese, Vito de Novellis, Francesco Rossi and Sabatino Maione

Volume 14 , Issue 5 , 2016

Page: [504 - 513] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/1570159X13666150716165323

Price: $65


Metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGluR7) is localized presynaptically at the active zone of neurotransmitter release. Unlike mGluR4 and mGluR8, which share mGluR7’s presynaptic location, mGluR7 shows low affinity for glutamate and is activated only by high glutamate concentrations. Its wide distribution in the central nervous system (CNS) and evolutionary conservation across species suggest that mGluR7 plays a primary role in controlling excitatory synapse function. High mGluR7 expression has been observed in several brain regions that are critical for CNS functioning and are involved in neurological and psychiatric disorder development. Until the recent discovery of selective ligands for mGluR7, techniques to elucidate its role in neural function were limited to the use of knockout mice and gene silencing. Studies using these two techniques have revealed that mGluR7 modulates emotionality, stress and fear responses. N,N'-dibenzhydrylethane-1,2-diamine dihydrochloride (AMN082) was reported as the first selective mGluR7 allosteric agonist. Pharmacological effects of AMN082 have not completely confirmed the mGluR7-knockout mouse phenotype; this has been attributed to rapid receptor internalization after drug treatment and to the drug’s apparent lack of in vivo selectivity. Therefore, the more recently developed mGluR7 negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) are crucial for understanding mGluR7 function and for exploiting its potential as a target for therapeutic interventions. This review presents the main findings regarding mGluR7’s effect on modulation of synaptic function and its role in normal CNS function and in models of neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

Keywords: Affective and cognitive behavior, mGluR7 knockout mice phenotype, mGluR7, pain, selective mGluR7 allosteric modulators, stress response.

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