Activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), which are coupled to G proteins, has important roles in certain forms of synaptic plasticity including corticostriatal long-term depression (LTD). In the present study, extracellular field potential and whole cell voltage-clamp recording techniques were used to investigate the effect of mGluR antagonists with different subtype specificity on high-frequency stimulation (HFS)-induced LTD of synaptic transmission in the striatum of brain slices obtained from 15-to 25-day-old rats. Induction of LTD was prevented during exposure to the nonselective mGluR antagonist (RS)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (500 microM). The group I mGluR-selective antagonists (S)-4-carboxy-phenylglycine (50 microM) and (RS)-1-aminoindan-1,5-dicarboxylic acid (100 microM) prevented induction of LTD when applied before and during HFS. The mGluR1-selective antagonist 7-(Hydroxyimino) cyclopropa[b]chromen-1a-carboxylate ethyl ester (80 microM) also blocked LTD induction. Unexpectedly, the mGluR5-selective antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethyl)-pyridine (10 microM) also prevented LTD induction. The group II mGluR antagonist LY307452 (10 microM) did not block LTD induction at corticostriatal synapses, but LY307452 was able to block transient synaptic depression induced by the group II agonist LY314593. None of the antagonists had any effect on basal synaptic transmission at the concentrations used, and mGluR antagonists did not reverse LTD when applied beginning 20 min after HFS. These results suggest that both group I mGluR subtypes contribute to the induction of LTD at corticostriatal synapses.