Activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors as a novel approach for the treatment of schizophrenia

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009 Jan;30(1):25-31. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Dec 6.


In recent years, the metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors have emerged as potential new drug targets for treatment of a range of CNS disorders. Some of the most compelling advances have been made in targeting specific mGlu receptor subtypes as a fundamentally new approach to the treatment of schizophrenia. Recent animal and clinical studies provide strong evidence that agonists of group II mGlu receptors (mGluR2 and mGluR3) are effective in the treatment of the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, and animal studies suggest that mGluR5 agonists could provide a novel approach for the treatment of all major symptom domains (positive, negative, and cognitive) of this disorder. Although the discovery of selective agonists of these receptors is a challenge, there have been recent advances in the discovery of highly selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of mGluR2 and mGluR5. These mGlu receptor-selective PAMs have properties needed for optimization as clinical candidates and have robust effects in animal models that predict efficacy in treatment of schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Discovery
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / agonists*
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology


  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate