Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 298–307 | Cite as

Group I Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors: A Role in Neurodevelopmental Disorders?

  • Maria Vincenza CataniaEmail author
  • Simona D’Antoni
  • Carmela Maria Bonaccorso
  • Eleonora Aronica
  • Mark F. Bear
  • Ferdinando Nicoletti


Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu1 and mGlu5) are coupled to polyphosphoinositide hydrolysis and are involved in activity-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity, both during development and in the adult life. Group I mGlu receptors can also regulate proliferation, differentiation, and survival of neural stem/progenitor cells, which further support their role in brain development. An exaggerated response to activation of mGlu5 receptors may underlie synaptic dysfunction in Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of mental retardation. In addition, group I mGlu receptors are overexpressed in dysplastic neurons of focal cortical dysplasia and hemimegaloencephaly, which are disorders of cortical development associated with chronic epilepsy. Drugs that block the activity of group I mGlu receptors (in particular, mGlu5 receptors) are potentially helpful for the treatment of Fragile X syndrome and perhaps other neurodevelopmental disorders.


Neural development Plasticity Metabotropic glutamate receptors mGluRs Fragile X syndrome FRAX Epilepsy Malformation of cortical development 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Vincenza Catania
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Simona D’Antoni
    • 1
  • Carmela Maria Bonaccorso
    • 2
  • Eleonora Aronica
    • 3
  • Mark F. Bear
    • 4
  • Ferdinando Nicoletti
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Institute of Neurological SciencesNational Research Council (CNR)CataniaItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular NeurobiologyOasi Institute for Research on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging (IRCCS)TroinaItaly
  3. 3.Department of (Neuro)PathologyAcademisch Medisch CentrumAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.The Picower Institute, HHMIMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  5. 5.Department of Physiology and Pharmacology “V. Erspamer”University of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  6. 6.INM NeuromedPozzilliItaly

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