• γ-aminobutyric acid;
  • akinesia;
  • basal ganglia;
  • electrophysiology;
  • glutamate;
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor


Alterations of striatal synaptic transmission have been associated with several motor disorders involving the basal ganglia, such as Parkinson’s disease. For this reason, we investigated the role of group-III metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors in regulating synaptic transmission in the striatum by electrophysiological recordings and by using our novel orthosteric agonist (3S)-3-[(3-amino-3-carboxypropyl(hydroxy)phosphinyl)-hydroxymethyl]-5-nitrothiophene (LSP1-3081) and l-2-amino-4-phosphonobutanoate (L-AP4). Here, we show that both drugs dose-dependently reduced glutamate- and GABA-mediated post-synaptic potentials, and increased the paired-pulse ratio. Moreover, they decreased the frequency, but not the amplitude, of glutamate and GABA spontaneous and miniature post-synaptic currents. Their inhibitory effect was abolished by (RS)-α-cyclopropyl-4-phosphonophenylglycine and was lost in slices from mGlu4 knock-out mice. Furthermore, (S)-3,4-dicarboxyphenylglycine did not affect glutamate and GABA transmission. Finally, intrastriatal LSP1-3081 or L-AP4 injection improved akinesia measured by the cylinder test. These results demonstrate that mGlu4 receptor selectively modulates striatal glutamate and GABA synaptic transmission, suggesting that it could represent an interesting target for selective pharmacological intervention in movement disorders involving basal ganglia circuitry.