Journal of Neuroscience vol:18 issue:16 pages:6071-6080
The involvement of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) is a matter of controversial debate. Using [Ca2+](i) measurements by confocal laser scanning microscopy and field recordings of EPSPs (fEPSPs) in the hippocampal CA1-region, we found that the efficacy of the broad-spectrum mGluR-antagonist (S)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (MCPG) and of (S)-4-carboxy-phenylglycine (4-CPG), a selective antagonist at class I mGluRs, in LTP is contingent on the tetanization strength and the resulting [Ca2+](i) response. As indicated by experiments in which we blocked voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs) and intracellular Ca2+ stores (ICSs), the functional significance of class I mGluRs in LTP is confined to certain types of potentiation, which are induced by weak tetanization protocols and require the release of Ca2+ from ICSs for induction. During strong tetanic stimulation, this Ca2+ source is functionally bypassed by activating VDCCs.