Group II mGluR receptor agonists are effective in persistent and neuropathic pain models in rats

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2002 Sep;73(2):419-27. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(02)00849-3.


The involvement of Group II metabotropic receptors in acute and persistent pain states was evaluated in several in vivo models of pain with selective and potent Group II metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) 2,3 agonists. LY354740, LY379268 and LY389795 attenuated late-phase paw-licking pain behavior in a dose-dependent manner in the formalin model of persistent pain. Effects occurred in the absence of overt neuromuscular deficits as measured by performance in the rotorod test for ataxia. The effects of LY354740 and LY379268 were also stereoselective. The order of potency of the agonists was LY389795>LY379268>LY354740. The attenuation of licking behavior by LY379268 (3 mg/kg) in the formalin model was reversed by a potent and selective mGlu2,3 receptor antagonist, LY341495 (1 mg/kg). In the L5/L6 spinal nerve ligation model of neuropathic pain in rats, LY379268 significantly reversed mechanical allodynia behavior in a dose-related manner. In contrast, LY379268 had no significant effects on the tail flick test or paw withdrawal test of acute thermal nociceptive function. These results support the involvement of Group II mGlu2,3 receptors in persistent pain mechanisms and suggest the potential utility of selective Group II mGlu agonists for the treatment of persistent pain.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ataxia / chemically induced
  • Ataxia / psychology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Formaldehyde
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Ligation
  • Male
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Measurement / drug effects
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Postural Balance / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / agonists*
  • Spinal Nerves / physiology


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 2
  • Formaldehyde