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Extensive research over the past thirty years has demonstrated a vital role for metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors in the major functions of the central nervous system (CNS). A wealth of preclinical studies provide evidence that pharmacological targeting of mGlu receptors can effectively attenuate the development of symptoms and progression of many CNS disorders in animal models. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on the involvement of mGlu receptors in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and cognitive disorders, pain perception and addiction), as well as neurodegenerative (Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases) and neurodevelopmental (fragile X syndrome and autism spectrum disorders) diseases. We further emphasize the therapeutic potential of mGlu receptors’ pharmacological modulators in these diseases, describe the results of clinical trials with these compounds and discuss the potential sources of translational difficulties.
Autism, fragile X syndrome, mental disorders, mGlu receptor, neurodegenerative diseases, pain.