An allosteric modulator of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR 2), (+)-TFMPIP, inhibits restraint stress-induced phasic glutamate release in rat prefrontal cortex

Erin R. Hascup, Kevin N. Hascup, Francois Pomerleau, Peter Huettl, Eva Hajos-Korcsok, Jan Kehr, Greg A. Gerhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The potential anxiolytic effects of a novel positive allosteric modulator (PAM) of the metabotropic glutamate receptor subgroup 2 (mGluR2) were investigated using a self-referencing recording technique with enzyme-based microelectrode arrays (MEAs) that reliably measures tonic and phasic changes in extracellular glutamate levels in awake rats. Studies involved glutamate measures in the rat prefrontal cortex during subcutaneous injections of the following: vehicle, a mGluR2/3 agonist, LY354740 (10 mg/kg), or a mGluR2 PAM, 1-Methyl-2-((cis-(R,R)-3-methyl-4-(4-trifluoromethoxy-2- fluoro)phenyl)piperidin-1-yl)methyl)-1H-imidazo[4,5-b]pyridine ((+)-TFMPIP; 1.0 or 17.8 mg/kg). Studies assessed changes in tonic glutamate levels and the glutamatergic responses to a 5-min restraint stress. Subcutaneous injection of (+)-TFMPIP at a dose of 1.0 mg/kg (day 3: -7.1 ± 15.1 net AUC; day 5: -24.8 ± 24.9 net AUC) and 17.8 mg/kg (day 3: -46.5 ± 33.0 net AUC; day 5: 34.6 ± 36.8 net AUC) significantly attenuated the stress-evoked glutamate release compared to vehicle controls (day 3: 134.7 ± 50.6 net AUC; day 5: 286.6 ± 104.5 net AUC), whereas the mGluR2/3 agonist LY354740 had no effect. None of the compounds significantly affected resting glutamate levels, which we have recently shown to be extensively derived from neurons. Taken together, these data support that systemic administration of (+)-TFMPIP produces phasic rather than tonic release of glutamate that may play a major role in the effects of stress on glutamate neuronal systems in the prefrontal cortex. Current anxiety disorder treatments are targeted toward modulating GABA and monoamine receptors or transporter proteins, often with poor efficacy and several side-effects. The aim of this study was to examine novel therapeutic targets for their anxiolytic potential. Systemic administration of a positive allosteric modulator of mGluR2 (+)-TFMPIP, inhibits stress-induced glutamate release in rat PFC without altering tonic glutamate. The findings in this study support (+)-TFMPIP as a potential candidate for use as an anxiolytic without producing unwanted effects on glutamate signaling in cortical areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-627
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • amperometry
  • anxiolytic
  • biosensor
  • mood disorder
  • neurotransmitter
  • therapeutic targets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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