Characterization of pre- and post-synaptic metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated inhibitory responses in substantia nigra dopamine neurons

Neurosci Res. 2003 Jan;45(1):101-15. doi: 10.1016/s0168-0102(02)00202-x.


Two inhibitory responses mediated by both pre- and post-synaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) were investigated in dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra using whole-cell patch recordings. (2R,4R)-APDC, a group II mGluR agonist, and L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (L-AP4), a group III mGluR agonist, reversibly suppressed the amplitude of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). However, (S)-3,5-DHPG, a group I mGluR agonist, exhibited less inhibitory action on the EPSCs. LY341495, a highly potent group II mGluR antagonist, antagonized the broad spectrum mGluR agonist, 1S,3R-ACPD-induced suppression of EPSCs. In acutely dissociated dopamine neurons, glutamate (Glu) in the presence of CNQX and AP-5 evoked an outward current accompanied by an increase in K(+) conductance. (S)-3,5-DHPG, but not (2R,4R)-APDC or L-AP4, also induced an outward current. Glu-induced outward current (I(Glu-out)) was partially inhibited by LY367385, a selective mGluR1 antagonist, but not by MPEP, a selective mGluR5 antagonist. Ryanodine and cyclopiazonic acid blocked the I(Glu-out). In the presence of caffeine, Glu failed to induce a current. Charybdotoxin, but not apamin or iberiotoxin, inhibited the I(Glu-out). Taken together, both group II and III mGluRs are mainly involved in the presynaptic inhibition of Glu release to dopamine neurons, while group I mGluRs, including at least mGluR1, participate in the hyperpolarization of dopamine neurons mediated by the opening of charybdotoxin-sensitive Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists / pharmacology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / drug effects
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology*
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / agonists
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Presynaptic / metabolism
  • Substantia Nigra / metabolism


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • Receptors, Presynaptic
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Dopamine