Metabotropic glutamate subtype 1 (mGlu1) receptor is thought to play a role in synaptic responses in thalamic relay nuclei. The aim of this study was to evaluate the positive allosteric modulator (PAM) Ro67-4853 as a tool to modulate thalamic mGlu1 receptors on single thalamic neurones in vivo. Ro67-4853, applied by iontophoresis onto ventrobasal thalamus neurones of urethane-anaesthetised rats, selectively enhanced responses to the agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxy-phenylglycine (DHPG), an effect consistent with mGlu1 potentiation. The PAM was also able to enhance maintained responses to 10 Hz trains of sensory stimulation of the vibrissae, but had little effect on responses to single sensory stimuli. Thus Ro67-4853 appears to be a highly selective tool that can be useful in investigating how mGlu1 receptor potentiation can alter neural processing in vivo. Our results show the importance of mGlu1 in sensory processing and attention mechanisms at the thalamic level and suggest that positive modulation of mGlu1 receptors might be a useful mechanism for enhancing cognitive and attentional processes.
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