Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), particularly mGluR2/3, mGluR5 and mGluR7, have received much attention in medication development for the treatment of drug addiction and other neuropsychiatric diseases. However, little is known as to whether mGluR ligands also alter natural sexual behavior, a possible unwanted effect when used in humans. In the present study, we used classical copulatory behaviors to evaluate the effects of LY379268 (a selective mGluR2/3 agonist), MPEP (a selective mGluR5 antagonist) and AMN082 (a selective mGluR7 agonist), on male sexual performance in rats. We found that systemic administration of LY379268 (1, 3 mg/kg, i.p.) had no effect, while MPEP (20 mg/kg, but not 10 mg/kg, i.p.) and AMN082 (10, 20 mg/kg, but not 3 mg/kg) produced a significant and dose-dependent reduction in both sex-seeking and sex-performance behaviors, manifested as an increase in mount or intromission latency and time required for ejaculation, and a reduction in mount or intromission frequency. This inhibition lasted for about 30–60 min. These findings suggest that compounds that target mGluR5 or mGluR7, but not mGluR2/3, may have short-term inhibitory effects on male sexual performance.
This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors’.