Metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1) plays a crucial role in synaptic plasticity and motor learning in the cerebellum. We have studied activity-dependent changes in mGluR1 function in mouse cultured Purkinje neurons. Depolarizing stimulation potentiated Ca2+ and current responses to an mGluR1 agonist for several hours in the cultured Purkinje neurons. It also blocked internalization of mGluR1 and increased the number of mGluR1s on the cell membrane. We found that depolarization simultaneously increased transcription of Homer1a in Purkinje neurons. Homer1a inhibited internalization and increased cell-surface expression of mGluR1 when coexpressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK)-293 cells. Depolarization-induced Homer1a expression in Purkinje neurons was blocked by a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor. Changes in internalization and mGluR1-mediated Ca2+ response were also blocked by inhibition of MAPK activity, suggesting that localization and activity of mGluR1 were regulated in the same signalling pathway as Homer1a expression. It is thus suggested that depolarization of the Purkinje neuron leads to the increment in mGluR1 responsiveness through MAPK activity and induction of Homer1a expression, which increases active mGluR1 on the cell surface by blocking internalization of mGluR1.

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European Journal of Neuroscience
Department of Neurology

Minami, Y., Kengaku, M., Sillevis Smitt, P., Shiqemoto, R., & Hirano, T. (2003). Long-term potentiation of mGluR1 activity by depolarization-induced Homer1a in mouse cerebellar Purkinje neurons. European Journal of Neuroscience, 17(5), 1023–1032. doi:10.1046/j.1460-9568.2003.02499.x