Metabotropic glutamate receptors in the rat nucleus accumbens

Eur J Neurosci. 1997 Jul;9(7):1514-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.1997.tb01506.x.


The effects of glutamate metabotropic receptors (mGluRs) on excitatory transmission in the nucleus accumbens were investigated using electrophysiological techniques in rat nucleus accumbens slices. The broad-spectrum mGluR agonist (1S,3R)-1-aminocyclopentyl-1,3-dicarboxylate, the mGluR group 2 selective agonists (S)-4-carboxy-3-hydroxyphenylglycine, (1S,3S)-ACPD) and (2S,1'S,2'S)-2-(2'-carboxycyclopropyl)glycine (L-CCG1), and the mGluR group 3 specific agonist L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (L-AP4) all reversibly inhibited evoked excitatory synaptic responses. The specific group 1 mGluR agonist (R,S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine [(R,S)-DHPG] did not depress transmission. Dose-response curves showed that the rank order of agonist potencies was: L-CCG1 > L-AP4 > (1S,3S)-ACPD. Group 2 and 3 mGluRs inhibited transmission via a presynaptic mechanism, as they increased paired-pulse facilitation, decreased the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents and had no effect on their amplitude. The mGluRs did not inhibit transmitter release by reducing voltage-dependent Ca2+ currents through N- or P-type Ca2+ channels, as inhibition persisted in the presence of omega-conotoxin-GVIA or omega-Aga-IVA. The depression induced by mGluRs was not affected by specific antagonists of dopamine D1, GABA-B or adenosine A1 receptors, indicating direct effects. Finally, (R,S)-DHPG specifically blocked the postsynaptic afterhyperpolarization current (I(AHP)). Our results represent the first direct demonstration of functional mGluRs in the nucleus accumbens of the rat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / physiology
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Dopamine / physiology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, GABA-B / physiology
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / agonists
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects


  • Calcium Channels
  • Receptors, GABA-B
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Adenosine
  • Dopamine