M4 mAChR-mediated modulation of glutamatergic transmission at corticostriatal synapses

Tristano Pancani, Caroline Bolarinwa, Yoland Smith, Craig W. Lindsley, P. Jeffrey Conn, Zixiu Xiang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

The striatum is the main input station of the basal ganglia and is extensively involved in the modulation of motivated behavior. The information conveyed to this subcortical structure through glutamatergic projections from the cerebral cortex and thalamus is processed by the activity of several striatal neuromodulatory systems including the cholinergic system. Acetylcholine potently modulates glutamate signaling in the striatum via activation of muscarinic receptors (mAChRs). It is, however, unclear which mAChR subtype is responsible for this modulatory effect. Here, by using electrophysiological, optogenetic, and immunoelectron microscopic approaches in conjunction with a novel, highly selective M4 positive allosteric modulator VU0152100 (ML108) and M4 knockout mice, we show that M4 is a major mAChR subtype mediating the cholinergic inhibition of corticostriatal glutamatergic input on both striatonigral and striatopallidal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). This effect is due to activation of presynaptic M4 receptors, which, in turn, leads to a decrease in glutamate release from corticostriatal terminals. The findings of the present study raise the interesting possibility that M4 mAChR could be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders involving hyper-glutamatergic transmission at corticostriatal synapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-324
Number of pages7
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 16 2014

Keywords

  • Basal ganglia
  • acetylcholine
  • dopamine
  • excitotoxicity
  • glutamate
  • muscarinic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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