Modulation of Basal Ganglia Function by Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors
Metabotropic glutamate receptors are a major class of excitatory amino acid receptors. Eight metabotropic glutamate receptors subtypes have been cloned and have been classified into three groups based on their amino acid sequence homology, effector systems, and pharmacological profile. Previous results have shown that striatal group I metabotropic glutamate receptor stimulation produces vigorous contralateral rotation in intact rats, thought to be due to increased striatal dopamine release. Examination of FOS-like immunoreactivity and local cerebral glucose metabolism suggests that this occurs secondary to activation of the subthalamic nucleus. We sought to determine the contribution of dopamine by examining metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist-induced rotation in rats following acute dopamine depletion by reserpine/alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine treatment, or chronic dopamine depletion by 6-hydroxydopamine treatment. In unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats, the group I metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist (RS)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine induced contralateral rotation with a coincident increase in striatal 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid. The rotation was attenuated by the group I antagonist 1-aminoindan-1,5-dicarboxylate. Examination of FOS-like immunoreactivity and [14C]2-deoxyglucose uptake in chronically dopamine depleted rats also revealed similar patterns to those seen previously in intact rats. However, acutely dopamine depleted rats do not exhibit metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist-induced rotation and show a different pattern of [14C]2-deoxyglucose uptake, with no increase in glucose utilization in the intermediate and deep layers of the superior colliculus. These results suggest that there are compensatory changes under conditions of chronic dopamine denervation which permit metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist-induced rotation to occur, which may include dopamine receptor supersensitivity, increased dopamine turnover, and/or changes in sensitivity of striatal group I metabotropic glutamate receptors. The group III metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist L-(+)-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate induced contralateral rotation in 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats, while it had no effect in intact rats. Additionally, examination of FOS-like immunoreactivity revealed a distinct pattern following L-(+)-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate administration in 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned versus intact rats. These results suggest that there is a change in the effect of striatal group III stimulation under conditions of dopamine depletion.