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Current Neuropharmacology


ISSN (Print): 1570-159X
ISSN (Online): 1875-6190

Research Article

The Emerging Role of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors in the Pathophysiology of Chronic Stress-Related Disorders

Author(s): Daniel Peterlik, Peter J. Flor and Nicole Uschold-Schmidt

Volume 14, Issue 5, 2016

Page: [514 - 539] Pages: 26

DOI: 10.2174/1570159X13666150515234920

Price: $65


Chronic stress-related psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, depression, and alcohol abuse are an enormous public health concern. The etiology of these pathologies is complex, with psychosocial stressors being among the most frequently discussed risk factors. The brain glutamatergic neurotransmitter system has often been found involved in behaviors and pathophysiologies resulting from acute stress and fear. Despite this, relatively little is known about the role of glutamatergic system components in chronic psychosocial stress, neither in rodents nor in humans. Recently, drug discovery efforts at the metabotropic receptor subtypes of the glutamatergic system (mGlu1-8 receptors) led to the identification of pharmacological tools with emerging potential in psychiatric conditions. But again, the contribution of individual mGlu subtypes to the manifestation of physiological, molecular, and behavioral consequences of chronic psychosocial stress remains still largely unaddressed. The current review will describe animal models typically used to analyze acute and particularly chronic stress conditions, including models of psychosocial stress, and there we will discuss the emerging roles for mGlu receptor subtypes. Indeed, accumulating evidence indicates relevance and potential therapeutic usefulness of mGlu2/3 ligands and mGlu5 receptor antagonists in chronic stress-related disorders. In addition, a role for further mechanisms, e.g. mGlu7-selective compounds, is beginning to emerge. These mechanisms are important to be analyzed in chronic psychosocial stress paradigms, e.g. in the chronic subordinate colony housing (CSC) model. We summarize the early results and discuss necessary future investigations, especially for mGlu5 and mGlu7 receptor blockers, which might serve to suggest improved therapeutic strategies to treat stress-related disorders.

Keywords: Animal models, anxiety, chronic stress, depression, mGlu receptors, stress-related disorders.

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