Studies utilizing selective pharmacological antagonists or targeted gene deletion have demonstrated that type 5 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5) are critical mediators and potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of numerous disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), including depression, anxiety, drug addiction, chronic pain, Fragile X syndrome, Parkinson's disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. However, in recent years, the development of positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the mGluR5 receptor have revealed that allosteric activation of this receptor may also be of potential therapeutic benefit for the treatment of other CNS disorders, including schizophrenia, cognitive deficits associated with chronic drug use, and deficits in extinction learning. Here we summarize the discovery and characterization of various mGluR5 PAMs, with an emphasis on those that are systemically active. We will also review animal studies showing that these molecules have potential efficacy as novel antipsychotic agents. Finally, we will summarize findings that suggest that mGluR5 PAMs have pro-cognitive effects such as the ability to enhance synaptic plasticity, improve performance in various learning and memory tasks, including extinction of drug-seeking behavior, and reverse cognitive deficits produced by chronic drug use.
- Positive allosteric modulator
- Synaptic plasticity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry