Metabotropic glutamate receptor 3 activation is required for long-term depression in medial prefrontal cortex and fear extinction

January 15, 2015


Clinical studies have revealed that genetic variations in metabotropic glutamate receptor 3 (mGlu3) affect performance on cognitive tasks dependent upon the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and may be linked to psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and addiction. We have performed a series of studies aimed at understanding how mGlu3 influences PFC function and cognitive behaviors. In the present study, we found that activation of mGlu3 can induce long-term depression in the mouse medial PFC (mPFC) in vitro. Furthermore, in vivo administration of a selective mGlu3 negative allosteric modulator impaired learning in the mPFC-dependent fear extinction task. The results of these studies implicate mGlu3 as a major regulator of PFC function and cognition. Additionally, potentiators of mGlu3 may be useful in alleviating prefrontal impairments associated with several CNS disorders.


PNAS journal cover volume 112 no. 4

Funding Source

This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NS031373) (to P.J.C.), a postdoctoral fellowship from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Foundation (to A.G.W.), and a National Institutes of Health predoctoral Training Grant (T32 GM007628) (to C.J.W.).

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