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BACKGROUND: Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu2 and mGlu3, encoded by Grm2 and Grm3) have been the focus of attention as treatment targets for a number of psychiatric conditions. Double knockout mice lacking mGlu2 and mGlu3 (mGlu2/3-/-) show a subtle behavioural phenotype, being hypoactive under basal conditions and in response to amphetamine, and with a spatial memory deficit that depends on the arousal properties of the task. The neurochemical correlates of this profile are unknown. Here, we measured tissue levels of dopamine, 5-HT, noradrenaline and their metabolites in the striatum and frontal cortex of mGlu2/3-/- double knockout mice, using high performance liquid chromatography. We also measured the same parameters in mGlu2-/- and mGlu3-/- single knockout mice. RESULTS: mGlu2/3-/-mice had reduced dopamine levels in the striatum but not in frontal cortex, compared to wild-types. In a separate cohort we replicated this deficit and, using tissue punches, found it was more prominent in the nucleus accumbens than in dorsolateral striatum. Noradrenaline, 5-HT and their metabolites were not altered in the striatum of mGlu2/3-/- mice, although the noradrenaline metabolite MHPG was increased in the cortex. In mGlu2-/- and mGlu3-/- single knockout mice we found no difference in any monoamine or metabolite, in either brain region, compared to their wild-type littermates. CONCLUSIONS: Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors impact upon striatal dopamine. The effect may contribute to the behavioural phenotype of mGlu2/3-/- mice. The lack of dopaminergic alterations in mGlu2-/- and mGlu3-/- single knockout mice reveals a degree of redundancy between the two receptors. The findings support the possibility that interactions between mGlu2/3 and dopamine may be relevant to the pathophysiology and therapy of schizophrenia and other disorders.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/1471-2202-14-102

Type

Journal article

Journal

BMC Neurosci

Publication Date

22/09/2013

Volume

14

Keywords

Animals, Brain Chemistry, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Corpus Striatum, Dopamine, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate