Metabotropic glutamate receptors as novel targets for anxiety and stress disorders

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2005 Feb;4(2):131-44. doi: 10.1038/nrd1630.


Anxiety and stress disorders are the most commonly occurring of all mental illnesses, and current treatments are less than satisfactory. So, the discovery of novel approaches to treat anxiety disorders remains an important area of neuroscience research. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system, and G-protein-coupled metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors function to regulate excitability via pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms. Various mGlu receptor subtypes, including group I (mGlu(1) and mGlu(5)), group II (mGlu(2) and mGlu(3)), and group III (mGlu(4), mGlu(7) and mGlu(8)) receptors, specifically modulate excitability within crucial brain structures involved in anxiety states. In addition, agonists for group II (mGlu(2/3)) receptors and antagonists for group I (in particular mGlu(5)) receptors have shown activity in animal and/or human conditions of fear, anxiety or stress. These studies indicate that metabotropic glutamate receptors are interesting new targets to treat anxiety disorders in humans.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / therapeutic use*
  • Stress Disorders, Traumatic / classification
  • Stress Disorders, Traumatic / drug therapy*


  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate