Exploring the role for mGluR5 in regulating striatal medium spiny neuron development
The striatum is a key brain region for learning and producing movement. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms in the early postnatal period that regulate how medium spiny neurons (MSNs), the predominant cell type in this region, mature. Using electrophysiology in acute brain slices in combination with pharmacological and genetic manipulations of the metabotropic glutamate receptor, mGluR5, I present evidence that mGluR5 may regulate synapse unsilencing. This developmental effect of mGluR5 signaling appears to be modulated by other processes, which I was unable to fully elucidate. However, activation of mGluR5 signaling later in postnatal development is sufficient to reduce excitatory glutamatergic transmission. These data indicate that mGluR5 has important roles in regulating striatal transmission that may be differentially regulated over development.
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