Suppression of two major Fragile X Syndrome mouse model phenotypes by the mGluR5 antagonist MPEP

Neuropharmacology. 2005 Dec;49(7):1053-66. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2005.06.004. Epub 2005 Jul 27.


Fragile X Syndrome is the most common form of inherited mental retardation worldwide. A Fragile X mouse model, fmr1(tm1Cgr), with a disruption in the X-linked Fmr1 gene, has three substantial deficits observed in several strains: (1) sensitivity to audiogenic seizures (AGS), (2) tendency to spend significantly more time in the center of an open field, and (3) enlarged testes. Alterations in metabotropic glutamate receptor group I signaling were previously identified in the fmr1(tm1Cgr) mouse. In this study, we examined the effect of MPEP, an antagonist of the group I metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR5, on audiogenic seizures and open field activity of fmr1(tm1Cgr) mice. Genetic analysis revealed synergistic reactions between fmr1(tm1Cgr) and inbred AGS alleles. In addition, AGS sensitivity due to the fmr1(tm1Cgr) allele was restricted during development. Examination of phenotypes combining mGluR5 inhibition and Fmr1 mutation indicated that absence of FMRP may affect mGluR5 signaling through indirect as well as direct pathways. All strains of fmr1(tm1Cgr) mice tested (FVB/NJ, C57BL/6J, and an F1 hybrid of the two) had a more excitable AGS pathway than wild-type, and consequently required more MPEP to achieve seizure suppression. At high doses of mGluR5 antagonists, a Fragile X specific tolerance (loss of drug activity) was observed. The tolerance effect could be overcome by a further increase in drug dose. In open field tests, MPEP reduced fmr1(tm1Cgr) center field behavior to one indistinguishable from wild-type. Therefore, mGluR5 antagonists were able to rescue two of the major phenotypes of the FX mouse. Modulation of mGluR5 signaling may allow amelioration of symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Drug Synergism
  • Epilepsy, Reflex / physiopathology
  • Exploratory Behavior / drug effects
  • Female
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein / genetics
  • Fragile X Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Fragile X Syndrome / psychology*
  • Genotype
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phenotype
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use*
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Fmr1 protein, mouse
  • Grm5 protein, mouse
  • Pyridines
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein
  • 6-methyl-2-(phenylethynyl)pyridine