• DCG-IV;
  • DHPG;
  • L-AP4;
  • mGlu receptor;
  • NMDA;
  • septum


The ventral septal area (VSA) is considered to be critically involved in the control of the height and duration of fever. The major excitatory input to this region of the brain is glutamatergic, and the aim of this study was to investigate possible modulation of this synapse by metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors. Whole-cell patch recordings were made from individual VSA neurons voltage-clamped at −60 mV. Activation of either group I or group II mGlu receptors (by bath application of 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) or (2S,2′R,3′R)-2-(2′,3′-dicarboxycyclopropyl)glycine (DCG-IV), respectively) produced a long-lasting depression of synaptic transmission which in both cases was insensitive to the N-methyl- d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist D-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate (D-AP5). In contrast, application of (S)-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (L-AP4), a group III mGlu receptor agonist, had a biphasic effect on synaptic transmission in the VSA, first eliciting a transient depression of transmission during drug application, followed by a marked and sustained potentiation of synaptic transmission upon drug washout. The response elicited by L-AP4 was dependent on NMDA receptor activation, as in the presence of D-AP5 the potentiation was replaced by an underlying long-term depression (LTD) of transmission. These data provide the first evidence that metabotropic glutamate receptor agonists can induce both NMDA receptor-dependent and -independent modulation of synaptic transmission in the VSA.