mGlu5 in GABAergic neurons modulates spontaneous and psychostimulant-induced locomotor activity.
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RATIONALE: A role of group I metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) in regulating spontaneous locomotion and psychostimulant-induced hyperactivity has been proposed. OBJECTIVES: This study aims to determine if mGlu5 in GABAergic neurons regulates spontaneous or psychostimulant-induced locomotion. METHODS: We generated mice specifically lacking mGlu5 in forebrain GABAergic neuron by crossing DLX-Cre mice with mGlu5flox/flox mice to generate DLX-mGlu5 KO mice. The locomotion of adult mice was examined in the open-field assay (OFA) and home cage setting. The effects of the mGlu5 antagonist 6-methyl-2-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP), cocaine, and methylphenidate on acute motor behaviors in DLX-mGlu5 KO and littermate control mice were assessed in OFA. Striatal synaptic plasticity of these mice was examined with field potential electrophysiological recordings. RESULTS: Deleting mGlu5 from forebrain GABAergic neurons results in failure to induce long-term depression (LTD) in the dorsal striatum and absence of habituated locomotion in both novel and familiar settings. In a familiar environment (home cage), DLX-mGlu5 KO mice were hyperactive. In the OFA, DLX-mGlu5 KO mice exhibited initial hypo-activity, and then gradually increased their locomotion with time, resulting in no habituation response. DLX-mGlu5 KO mice exhibited almost no locomotor response to MPEP (40mg/kg), while the same dose elicited hyperlocomotion in control mice. The DLX-mGlu5 KO mice also showed reduced hyperactivity response to cocaine, while they retained normal hyperactivity response to methylphenidate, albeit with delayed onset. CONCLUSION: mGlu5 in forebrain GABAergic neurons is critical to trigger habituation upon the initiation of locomotion as well as to mediate MPEP-induced hyperlocomotion and modulate psychostimulant-induced hyperactivity.