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Plastic changes in cortical activities induced by group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) stimulation include epileptogenesis, expressed in vitro as the conversion of normal neuronal activity to persistent, prolonged synchronized (ictal) discharges. At present, the mechanism that maintains group I mGluR-induced plasticity is not known. We examined this issue using hippocampal slices from guinea pigs and mice. Agonist [(S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG), 30-50 μm)] stimulation of group I mGluRs induces persistent prolonged synchronized (ictal-like) discharges in CA3 that are associated with three identified excitatory cellular responses-suppression of spike afterhyperpolarizations, activation of a voltage-dependent cationic current, and increase in neuronal input resistance. Persistent prolonged synchronized discharges and the underlying excitatory cellular responses maintained following induction were reversibly blocked by mGluR1 antagonists [(S)-+-α-amino-4-carboxy-2-methylbenzeneacetic acid (LY 367385), 50, 100 μm; CPCCOEt (hydroxyimino)cyclopropa[b]chromen-1a-carboxylate ethyl ester, 100 μm], and to a lesser extent by the mGluR5 antagonist MPEP [2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine hydrochloride, 50 μm]. Activation of persistent cellular responses to DHPG were unaffected by tetrodotoxin (0.5-1 μm) or perfusion with low Ca(2+)(0.2 mm)-Mn(2+)(0.5 mm) media-conditions that suppress endogenous glutamate release. The pharmacological profile of the blocking action of the group I mGluR antagonist MCPG [(RS)-α-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine, 50-500 μm] on persistent cellular responses was different from that on cellular responses directly activated by DHPG. These data indicate that transient stimulation of group I mGluRs alters receptor properties, rendering them persistently active in the absence of applied agonist or endogenous glutamate activation. Persistent receptor activities, primarily involving mGluR1, maintain excitatory cellular responses and emergent prolonged synchronized discharges.


Steven R Young, Shih-Chieh Chuang, Wangfa Zhao, Robert K S Wong, Riccardo Bianchi. Persistent receptor activity underlies group I mGluR-mediated cellular plasticity in CA3 neuron. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2013 Feb 6;33(6):2526-40

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PMID: 23392681

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