• metabotropic glutamate receptor;
  • t-ACPD;
  • catecholamine secretion;
  • chromaffin cells


We demonstrate the presence and functional properties of Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) expressed in chromaffin cells. Immunocytochemical techniques revealed that two mGluR subtypes (mGluR1α and mGluR5) are expressed in chromaffin cells, located in both the cytoplasmic membrane and the cytosol surrounding the nucleus. These mGluRs are functionally active on catecholamine (CA) secretion in chromaffin cells because both (1S, 3R)-1-aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid (t-ACPD) and the specific agonist of Group I mGluRs, (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG), were able to stimulate the release of CAs (adrenaline and noradrenaline) in a dose-response manner. These effects were specifically reversed by L-(+)-2-amino-3-phosphonopropionic acid (L-AP3), a selective antagonist of the Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors. t-ACPD induced an increase in CA secretion in both the presence and absence of extracellular calcium, the former effect being accompanied by cell membrane depolarization. Noradrenaline (NA) release was higher in the presence of extracellular calcium than in its absence, whereas adrenaline release was of the same order under both conditions. These results indicate that different subtypes of Group I mGluRs are present in noradrenergic and adrenergic cells. Fluorescence imaging techniques in single cells showed different t-ACPD-induced increases in intracellular calcium in different chromaffin cells: in chromaffin cells, 67% expressed functional metabotropic glutamate receptors and with nicotinic receptors, whereas the remaining 33% expressed only nicotinic receptors. In the absence of external calcium, only about 25% of cells responded to t-ACPD-increased intracellular calcium by increasing inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) concentration and subsequent calcium mobilization from intracellular stores, whereas the remaining 75% increased intracellular calcium by promoting Ca2+ influx from the extracellular medium through L- and N- but not P/Q voltage-dependent calcium channels. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.