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ISSN : 1226-7155(Print)
ISSN : 2287-6618(Online)
International Journal of Oral Biology Vol.34 No.4 pp.215-222

Actions of Group I Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Agonist on Synaptic Transmission and Ionic Currents in Rat Medial Vestibular Nucleus Neurons

Sang-Woo Chun, Lee Hae-In
Dept. of Oral Physiology, College of Dentistry, Institute of Wonkwang Biomaterial and Implant, Wonkwang University


Medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons are involved in the reflex control of the head and eyes, and in the recovery of vestibular function after the formation of peripheral vestibular lesions. In our present study, whole cell patch clamp recordings were carried out on MVN neurons in brainstem slices from neonatal rats to investigate the actions of a group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonist upon synaptic transmission and ionic currents. Application of the mGluR I agonist (S)-3,5- dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) increased the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) but had no effect upon amplitude distributions. To then identify which of mGluR subtypes is responsible for the actions of DHPG in the MVN, we employed two novel subtype selective antagonists. (S)-(+)--amino-a-methylbenzeneacetic acid (LY367385) is a potent competitive antagonist that is selective for mGluR1, whereas 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine (MPEP) is a potent noncompetitive antagonist of mGluR5. Both LY367385 and MPEP antagonized the DHPG-induced increase of mIPSCs, with the former being more potent. DHPG was also found to induce an inward current, which can be enhanced under depolarized conditions. This DHPG-induced current was reduced by both LY367385 and MPEP. The DHPG-induced inward current was also suppressed by the PLC blocker U-73122, the IP₃ receptor antagonist 2-APB, and following the depletion of the intracellular Cα²+ pool by thapsigargin. These data suggest that the DHPG-induced inward current may be mainly regulated by the intracellular Cα²+ store via the PLC-IP₃ pathway. In conclusion, mGluR I, via pre- and postsynaptic actions, may modulate the excitability of the MVN neurons.