Neurodegenerative diseases such as spinocerebellar ataxias and autoantibody-associated disorders of the central nervous system often affect the cerebellum, resulting in motor deficits. Recent studies have revealed that most of these disorders impair type 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR1) and/or the closely associated signaling molecules in cerebellar Purkinje cell. Since the signaling pathway triggered by mGluR1 activation in Purkinje cell plays a pivotal role in coordinated movements and motor learning, pharmacological repair of aberrant mGluR1 signaling in Purkinje cell is critical for mitigation of cerebellar symptoms. Here we review recently identified pathophysiology underlying the neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases affecting mGluR1 signaling in Purkinje cell and possible therapeutic interventions.
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