Noncanonical Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 Signaling in Alzheimer's Disease

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2021 Sep 13. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-021821-091747. Online ahead of print.


Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) is ubiquitously expressed in brain regions responsible for memory and learning. It plays a key role in modulating rapid changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity. mGluR5 supports long-term changes in synaptic strength by regulating the transcription and translation of essential synaptic proteins. β-Amyloid 42 (Aβ42) oligomers interact with a mGluR5/cellular prion protein (PrPC) complex to disrupt physiological mGluR5 signal transduction. Aberrant mGluR5 signaling and associated synaptic failure are considered an emerging pathophysiological mechanism of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, mGluR5 represents an attractive therapeutic target for AD, and recent studies continue to validate the efficacy of various mGluR5 allosteric modulators in improving memory deficits and mitigating disease pathology. However, sex-specific differences in the pharmacology of mGluR5 and activation of noncanonical signaling downstream of the receptor suggest that its utility as a therapeutic target in female AD patients needs to be reconsidered. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Volume 62 is January 2022. Please see for revised estimates.