Interaction between ephrins and mGlu5 metabotropic glutamate receptors in the induction of long-term synaptic depression in the hippocampus

Sonia Piccinin, Carlo Cinque, Laura Calò, Gemma Molinaro, Giuseppe Battaglia, Laura Maggi, Ferdinando Nicoletti, Daniela Melchiorri, Fabrizio Eusebi, Peter V. Massey, Zafar I. Bashir

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17 Scopus citations


We applied the group-I metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptor agonist, 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG), to neonatal or adult rat hippocampal slices at concentrations (10 μM) that induced a short-term depression (STD) of excitatory synaptic transmission at the Schaffer collateral/CA1 synapses. DHPG-induced STD was entirely mediated by the activation of mGlu5 receptors because it was abrogated by the mGlu5 receptor antagonist, MPEP [2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine], but not by the mGlu1 receptor antagonist, CPCCOEt [7-(hydroxyimino)cyclopropa[b]chromen-1a-carboxylate ethyl ester]. Knowing that ephrin-Bs functionally interact with group-I mGlu receptors (Calò et al., 2005), we examined whether pharmacological activation of ephrin-Bs could affect DHPG-induced STD. We activated ephrin-Bs using their cognate receptor, EphB1, under the form of a preclustered EphB1/Fc chimera. Addition of clustered EphB1/Fc alone to the slices induced a small but nondecremental depression of excitatory synaptic transmission, which differed from the depression induced by 10μM DHPG. Surprisingly, EphB1/Fc-induced synaptic depression was abolished by MPEP (but not by CPCCOEt) suggesting that it required the endogenous activation of mGlu5 receptors. In addition, coapplication of DHPG and EphB1/Fc, resulted in a large and nondecremental long-term depression. The effect of clustered EphB1/Fc was specific because it was not mimicked by unclustered EphB1/Fc or clustered EphA1/Fc. These findings raise the intriguing possibility that changes in synaptic efficacy mediated by mGlu5 receptors are under the control of the ephrin/Eph receptor system, and that the neuronal actions of ephrins can be targeted by drugs that attenuate mGlu5 receptor signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2835-2843
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 24 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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