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Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors in the Rat Nucleus Accumbens



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-CCGI > L-AP4 > (1 S,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 a-conotoxin-GVIA or 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, (13,s)-DHPG specifically blocked the postsynaptic afterhyperpolarization current (Iahp). Our results represent the first direct demonstration of functional mGluRs in the nucleus accumbens of the rat.