Direct effects of metabotropic glutamate receptor compounds on native and recombinant N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors

Anis Contractor*, Robert W. Gereau IV, Tim Green, Stephen F. Heinemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

The actions of glutamate in the central nervous system are mediated through interaction with fast activating ionotropic receptors and G protein- coupled metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Studies of these receptors have relied on the availability of agonists and antagonists selective for each receptor class. Compounds that were thought to be selective for mGluRs have been extensively used to study the role of these receptors in the brain. Their use has implicated mGluRs in a wide range of physiological and pathological processes including the modulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and NMDA receptor-dependent processes. We report that some of the most commonly used mGluR compounds act as antagonists on NMDA receptors at concentrations commonly used to activate or block mGluRs. In addition, several of the drugs also act as agonists at higher concentrations due at least in part to high levels of contaminant amino acids. Our results indicate that caution should be used when using these drugs to study the roles of mGluRs in various NMDA-dependent processes. The antagonist effects were dependent on the concentration of the NMDA receptor coagonists, preventing reappraisal of previously published work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8969-8974
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume95
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 21 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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