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New publication from Marco Capogna in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience

Ligands to metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are potential novel drugs for neurological and psychiatric disorders, but little is known about the effects of these compounds at synapses of the human cerebral cortex. To fill this gap, this paper shows the effects of group II mGluR activation on excitatory synaptic transmission recorded from pyramidal neurons of cortical layers 2–3 in acute slices derived from surgically removed cortical tissue of people with epilepsy or tumors.

Confocal microscopic image of a biocytin-filled human cortical pyramidal cell in layer 3

Therefore, this paper suggests for the first time potential mechanisms by which an mGluR drug could exert pro-cognitive effects and treat human neuropsychiatric disorders. This work is part of an ERC-funded collaboration between Marco Capogna, Aarhus University, and Peter Somogyi (Brain Prize winner 2011), Oxford.