Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) and their role in modulating pain throughout the peripheral and central nervous system are the focus of this chapter. Because these receptors are so prolifically involved in pain signaling throughout the neuraxis, we will use them as a vehicle to explore the totality of the neuraxis. These diverse receptors can increase or decrease pain depending on the subtype of receptor involved and anatomical location of activity. We will cover the basic molecular structure and function of mGluRs and then evaluate the role of different mGluRs at each level of the pain neuraxis. Similar to the functional anatomy involved in the processing of exogenous noxious stimuli, we will start from the peripheral nociceptive terminal and end in higher brain centers that are involved in the cognitive and emotional components of pain. We will conclude by examining the cutting-edge technology involved in the development of mGluR agents for the treatment of pain.
Keywords: G-protein-coupled receptor; Glutamate; Metabotropic glutamate receptor; Pain; mGluR.
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