To clarify the contribution of metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors in brain to benzodiazepine withdrawal signs, we now examine the effects in mice of selective ligands for three subgroups of mGlu receptor on the hypersusceptibility to pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure during diazepam withdrawal. The seizure threshold for pentylenetetrazole was significantly decreased by the discontinuation of chronic diazepam treatment. The decrease in the seizure threshold for pentylenetetrazole during diazepam withdrawal was significantly suppressed by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) pretreatment with the group 1 mGlu receptor antagonist, (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine ((S)-4CPG: 56 and 100 nmol). These doses of (S)-4CPG did not alter the seizure threshold in chronically vehicle-treated (control) mice. Pretreatment i.c.v. with a presynaptic mGlu receptor agonist (the group 2 mGlu receptor agonist (2S,1'S,2'S)-2-(carboxycyclopropyl)-glycine (L-CCG-I: 3.0 and 5.6 nmol) and the group 3 mGlu receptor agonist, L-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (L-AP4: 3.0 and 5.6 nmol)) failed to suppress the decrease in seizure threshold in diazepam-withdrawn mice, but increased the seizure threshold in control mice. Pretreatment i.c.v. with the group 1 mGlu receptor antagonist/group 2 mGlu receptor agonist, (S)-4-carboxy-3-hydroxyphenylglycine ((S)-4C3HPG: 56 and 100 nmol), significantly increased the seizure threshold in control mice and suppressed the decrease in seizure threshold in diazepam-withdrawn mice. These findings suggest that enhancement of group 1 mGlu receptor function and a decline in both group 2 and group 3 mGlu receptor functions may play an important role in the hypersusceptibility to pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure during diazepam withdrawal. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
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