A new signalling pathway for parallel fibre presynaptic type 4 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR4) in the rat cerebellar cortex

J Physiol. 2012 Jul 1;590(13):2977-94. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.232074. Epub 2012 May 8.


In the rodent cerebellum, pharmacological activation of mGluR4 acutely depresses excitatory synaptic transmission at parallel fibre–Purkinje cell synapses. This depression involves the inhibition of presynaptic calcium (Ca2+) influx that ultimately controls glutamate release. In this study, we investigate the molecular basis of mGluR4-mediated inhibition of presynaptic Ca2+ transients. Our results demonstrate that the mGluR4 effect does not depend on selective inhibition of a specific type of presynaptic voltage-gated Ca2+ channel, but rather involves modulation of all classes of Ca2+ channels present in the presynaptic terminals. In addition, this inhibitory effect does not involve the activation of G protein-activated inwardly rectifying potassium channels, TEA-sensitive potassium channels or two-pore-domain potassium channels. Furthermore, this inhibition does not require pertussis toxin-sensitive G proteins, and is independent of any effect on adenylyl cyclases, protein kinase A, mitogen-activated protein kinases or phosphoinositol-3 kinase activity. Interestingly we found that mGluR4 inhibition of presynaptic Ca2+ influx employs a newly defined signalling pathway, notably that involving the activation of phospholipase C and ultimately protein kinase C.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / physiology
  • Calcium Channels / physiology
  • Cerebellar Cortex / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Protein Kinase C / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Type C Phospholipases / physiology


  • Calcium Channels
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Type C Phospholipases
  • Calcium
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 4