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Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors 2 and 3 as Targets for Treating Nicotine Addiction

Published:November 20, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.11.021

      Abstract

      Tobacco smoking, driven by the addictive properties of nicotine, continues to be a worldwide health problem. Based on the well-established role of glutamatergic neurotransmission in drug addiction, novel medication development strategies seek to halt nicotine consumption and prevent relapse to tobacco smoking by modulating glutamate transmission. The presynaptic inhibitory metabotropic glutamate receptors 2 and 3 (mGluR2/3) are key autoreceptors on glutamatergic terminals that maintain glutamate homeostasis. Accumulating evidence suggests the critical role of mGluR2/3 in different aspects of nicotine addiction, including acquisition and maintenance of nicotine taking, nicotine withdrawal, and persistent nicotine seeking even after prolonged abstinence. The involvement of mGluR2/3 in other neuropsychiatric conditions, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and pain, provides convincing evidence suggesting that mGluR2/3 may provide an effective therapeutic approach for comorbidity of smoking and these conditions. This focused review article highlights that mGluR2/3 provide a promising target in the search for smoking cessation medication with novel mechanisms of actions that differ from those of currently U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved pharmacotherapies.

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