mGluR5 Modulation of Behavioral and Epileptic Phenotypes in a Mouse Model of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018 May;43(6):1457-1465. doi: 10.1038/npp.2017.295. Epub 2017 Dec 5.


Drugs targeting metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) have therapeutic potential in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). The question whether inhibition or potentiation of mGluR5 could be beneficial depends, among other factors, on the specific indication. To facilitate the development of mGluR5 treatment strategies, we tested the therapeutic utility of mGluR5 negative and positive allosteric modulators (an mGluR5 NAM and PAM) for TSC, using a mutant mouse model with neuronal loss of Tsc2 that demonstrates disease-related phenotypes, including behavioral symptoms of ASD and epilepsy. This model uniquely enables the in vivo characterization and rescue of the electrographic seizures associated with TSC. We demonstrate that inhibition of mGluR5 corrects hyperactivity, seizures, and elevated de novo synaptic protein synthesis. Conversely, positive allosteric modulation of mGluR5 results in the exacerbation of hyperactivity and epileptic phenotypes. The data suggest a meaningful therapeutic potential for mGluR5 NAMs in TSC, which warrants clinical exploration and the continued development of mGluR5 therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Animals
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / drug therapy
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / metabolism
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / metabolism
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agents / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Pyridines / pharmacology
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5 / agonists
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5 / metabolism
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / metabolism
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 2 Protein / deficiency
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 2 Protein / genetics


  • 2-chloro-4-((2,5-dimethyl-1-(4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenyl)-1H-imidazol-4-yl)ethynyl)pyridine
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agents
  • Grm5 protein, mouse
  • Imidazoles
  • Pyridines
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5
  • Tsc2 protein, mouse
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 2 Protein