Antibodies were raised against two distinct extracellular sequences of the rat mGluR1 metabotropic glutamate receptor expressed as bacterial fusion proteins. Both antibodies specifically reacted with mGluR1 in the rat cerebellum and inhibited the mGluR1 activity as assessed by the analysis of glutamate-stimulated inositol phosphate formation in CHO cells expressing mGluR1. Using these antibodies, we examined the role of mGluR1 in the induction of long-term depression in cultured Purkinje cells. In voltage-clamped Purkinje cells, current induced by iontophoretically applied glutamate was persistently depressed by depolarization of the Purkinje cells in conjunction with the glutamate application. The mGluR1 antibodies completely blocked the depression of glutamate-induced current. The results indicate that activation of mGluR1 is necessary for the induction of cerebellar long-term depression and that these mGluR1 antibodies can be used as selective antagonists.