Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), which comprise mGlu1Rs and mGlu5Rs, are enriched in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs), where they modulate glutamatergic transmission. Here, we have examined the effect of group I mGluRs on the regulation of the state of phosphorylation of the GluA1 subunit of the AMPA glutamate receptor. We found that incubation of mouse striatal slices with the group I mGluR agonist (R,S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) promotes GluA1 phosphorylation at the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) site, Ser845. This effect is prevented by 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine hydrochloride (MPEP), a selective mGlu5R antagonist. The increase in GluA1 phosphorylation produced by DHPG is also prevented by blockade of adenosine A2A receptors (A2ARs), which are known to promote cAMP signaling specifically in striatopallidal MSNs, as well as by enzymatic degradation of endogenous adenosine, achieved with adenosine deaminase. The ability of DHPG to increase PKA-dependent phosphorylation of GluA1 depends on concomitant activation of the dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa (DARPP-32). Thus, inactivation of the PKA phosphorylation site of DARPP-32 abolishes the effect of DHPG. Moreover, cell-specific knock out of DARPP-32 in striatopallidal, but not in striatonigral, MSNs prevents the increase in Ser845 phosphorylation induced by DHPG. These results indicate that activation of mGlu5Rs promotes PKA/DARPP-32-dependent phosphorylation of downstream target proteins in striatopallidal MSNs and that this effect is exerted via potentiation of tonic A2AR transmission.
This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors’.