Heterologous expression of metabotropic glutamate receptors in adult rat sympathetic neurons: subtype-specific coupling to ion channels

Neuron. 1995 May;14(5):1029-38. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(95)90341-0.


A novel heterologous expression system was used to examine the coupling of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) to neuronal voltage-gated ion channels. Cytoplasmic injection of mGluR2 cRNA into adult rat sympathetic neurons resulted in the expression of receptors that negatively coupled to N-type Ca2+ channels through a pertussis toxin-sensitive pathway. Injection of mGluR1 alpha cRNA resulted in the expression of receptors that inhibited M-type K+ channels via a pertussis toxin-insensitive pathway. Coupling was restricted to specific transduction elements and effectors, since mGluR2 did not inhibit M channels and mGluR1 alpha had minimal effects on Ca2+ channels. These findings demonstrate that heterologously expressed, and thus unambiguously identified, mGluR subtypes modulate specific neuronal ion channels through discrete signal transduction pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Calcium Channels / physiology
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Female
  • Gene Expression*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Pertussis Toxin
  • Potassium Channel Blockers
  • Potassium Channels / physiology
  • RNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Superior Cervical Ganglion / cytology*
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella / pharmacology


  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Calcium Channels
  • Ion Channels
  • Potassium Channel Blockers
  • Potassium Channels
  • RNA, Complementary
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella
  • Pertussis Toxin