Metabotropic actions of kainate receptors modulating glutamate release

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Presynaptic kainate (KA) receptors (KARs) modulate GABA and glutamate release in the central nervous system of mammals. While some of the actions of KARs are ionotropic, metabotropic actions for these receptors have also been seen to modulate both GABA and glutamate release. In general, presynaptic KARs modulate glutamate release through their metabotropic actions in a biphasic manner, with low KA concentrations producing an increase in glutamate release and higher concentrations of KA driving weaker release of this neurotransmitter. Different molecular mechanisms are involved in this modulation of glutamate release, with a G-protein independent, Ca2+-calmodulin adenylate cyclase (AC) and protein kinase A (PKA) dependent mechanism facilitating glutamate release, and a G-protein, AC and PKA dependent mechanism mediating the decrease in neurotransmitter release. Here, we describe the events underlying the KAR modulation of glutamatergic transmission in different brain regions, addressing the possible functions of this modulation and proposing future research lines in this field.
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Neuropharmacology, Volume 197, 2021, 108696
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