Group III mGlu receptor agonists produce anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects after central administration in rats

Neuropharmacology. 2004 Feb;46(2):151-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2003.09.006.


It was well established that compounds which decrease glutamatergic transmission via blockade of NMDA or group I mGlu receptors produce anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like action in animal tests and models. Since group III metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonists are known to reduce glutamatergic neurotransmission by the inhibition of glutamate release, we decided to investigate potential anxiolytic- and/or antidepressant-like effects of group III mGluR agonists, after central administration in rats. It was found that group III mGluR agonists, (1S,3R,4S)-1-aminocyclo-pentane-1,3,4-tricarboxylic acid (ACPT-I) and 2-amino-4-(3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazol-4-yl)butyric acid (HomoAMPA), given intrahippocampally, produced a dose-dependent anxiolytic-like effect in the conflict drinking test. The effects of ACPT-I and HomoAMPA were reversed by (RS)-alpha-cyclopropyl-4-phosphonophenyl glycine (CPPG), group III mGluR antagonist. Moreover, a dose-dependent antidepressant-like action of group III mGluR agonists, ACPT-I and (RS)-4-phosphonophenylglycine (RS-PPG), but not HomoAMPA, was found in behavioral despair test, after intracerebroventricular injections, and the effect of ACPT-I was reversed by CPPG. The results obtained indicate that group III mGluR agonists produce anxiolytic- as well as antidepressant-like effects in behavioral tests, after central administration in rats. The reduction of glutamate release by group III mGluR activation may be a possible mechanism underlying anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like properties of the tested compounds. In conclusion, the results of our studies indicate that group III mGlu receptor agonists may play a role in the therapy of both anxiety and depression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antidepressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Cyclopentanes / administration & dosage
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / agonists*
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / physiology
  • Tricarboxylic Acids / administration & dosage
  • alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid / administration & dosage
  • alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid / analogs & derivatives*


  • 1-aminocyclopentane-1,2,4-tricarboxylic acid
  • 2-amino-4-(3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazol-4-yl)butyric acid
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Cyclopentanes
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • Tricarboxylic Acids
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 3
  • alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid