NMDA Receptors, mGluR5, and Endocannabinoids are Involved in a Cascade Leading to Hippocampal Long-Term Depression

Izumi Y, Zorumski CF (2011). Neuropsychopharmacology, doi:10.1038/npp.2011.243
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In the CA1 region of the rat hippocampus, metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 (mGluR5) and cannabinoid-1 receptors (CB1Rs) are believed to participate in long-term synaptic depression (LTD). How mGluRs and CB1Rs interact to promote LTD remains uncertain. In this study, we examined LTD induced by CB1R agonists, mGluR5 agonists, and low-frequency electrical stimulation (LFS) of the Schaffer collateral pathway. Synthetic CB1R agonists induced robust LTD that was mimicked by the endocannabinoid (EC), noladin ether (NLDE), but not by anandamide. 2-Arachidonylglycerol (2AG) produced only a small degree of LTD. The selective mGluR5 agonist, namely (RS)-2-chloro-5-hydroxyphenylglycine (CHPG), also induced robust LTD, and CHPG and NLDE occluded each other’s effects. Similarly, CHPG and NLDE occluded LFS-induced LTD, and LTD resulting from all three treatments was blocked by a CB1R antagonist. CHPG-LTD and NLDE-LTD were insensitive to N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) block, even though LFS-LTD requires NMDARs. LTD induced by LFS or CHPG, but not NLDE-LTD, was blocked by a selective mGluR5 antagonist. (RS)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG), a less selective group I mGluR agonist, also induced LTD, but its effects were not blocked by mGluR5 or CB1R antagonists. Furthermore, DHPG-LTD was additive with LFS-LTD and CHGP-LTD. These results suggest that NMDARs, mGluR5, and CB1Rs participate in a cascade that underlies LFS-LTD and that release of an EC and CB1R activation occur downstream of NMDARs and mGluR5. Furthermore, DHPG induces a form of LTD that differs mechanistically from LFS-induced depression.

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Posted on October 14, 2011
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