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Metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 2 (mGluR2; GRM2)

Patient sample and rat studies suggest normalizing mGluR2 expression could help treat alcoholism. Infralimbic cortex glutamatergic neurons from alcohol-dependent rats showed lower mGlur2 expression than matched neurons from nondependent rats. In the alcohol-dependent rats, lentiviral vector-induced expression of mGlur2 in the infralimbic cortex decreased alcohol-seeking behaviors compared with expression of a control gene. Postmortem brain tissue samples from alcohol-dependent patients showed 2.6-fold lower mGluR2 expression in the anterior cingulate cortex than samples from age-matched nonalcoholics. Next steps include determining whether mGluR2 dysfunction alone is sufficient to induce addiction-prone responses and how addiction blocks mGluR2 signaling.

SciBX 6(7); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.166
Published online Feb. 21, 2013

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Meinhardt, M.W. et al. J. Neurosci.; published online Feb. 13, 2013;
Contact: Wolfgang H. Sommer, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany