, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 1-11
Date: 09 Dec 2010

Huntington’s Disease and Group I Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder characterized by involuntary body movement, cognitive impairment and psychiatric disturbance. A polyglutamine expansion in the amino-terminal region of the huntingtin (htt) protein is the genetic cause of HD. Htt protein interacts with a wide variety of proteins, and htt mutation causes cell signaling alterations in various neurotransmitter systems, including dopaminergic, glutamatergic, and cannabinoid systems, as well as trophic factor systems. This review will overview recent findings concerning htt-promoted alterations in cell signaling that involve different neurotransmitters and trophic factor systems, especially involving mGluR1/5, as glutamate plays a crucial role in neuronal cell death. The neuronal cell death that takes place in the striatum and cortex of HD patients is the most important factor underlying HD progression. Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR1 and mGluR5) have a very controversial role in neuronal cell death and it is not clear whether mGluR1/5 activation either protects or exacerbates neuronal death. Thus, understanding how mutant htt protein affects glutamatergic receptor signaling will be essential to further establish a role for glutamate receptors in HD and develop therapeutic strategies to treat HD.