Plasticity-dependent changes in metabotropic glutamate receptor expression at excitatory hippocampal synapses

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Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors, mGluR1 and mGluR5, modulate NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and plasticity and mediate mGluR-dependent plasticity. Here we report that the synaptic expression of mGluRs can be regulated by NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity, but that this is dependent on the subtype of mGluR. Silent synapses, but not active synapses, were found to lack Group I mGluRs showing that mGluRs must be inserted into synapses after they are unsilenced. The induction of LTP resulted in an increased synaptic expression of mGluR1 in an NMDA receptor-dependent manner. mGluR1 is internalized from synapses via NMDA receptor-dependent LTD. Interestingly we found no evidence for the regulation of mGluR5 by NMDA receptor-dependent plasticity. This regulation of Group I mGluRs will determine the ability of synapses to undergo mGluR-dependent modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity, providing a mechanism for metaplasticity and state-dependent plasticity at hippocampal synapses.

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