Pharmacological modulation of mGluR7 with AMN082 and MMPIP exerts specific influences on alcohol consumption and preference in rats

Amine Bahi, Katharina Fizia, Monika Dietz, Fabrizio Gasparini, Peter J. Flor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Growing evidence supports a role for the central nervous system (CNS) neurotransmitter L-glutamate and its metabotropic receptors (mGluRs) in drug addiction in general and alcohol-use disorders in particular. Alcohol dependence, for instance, has a genetic component, and the recent discovery that variations in the gene coding for mGluR7 modulate alcohol consumption further validates involvement of the L-glutamate system. Consequently, increasing interest emerges in developing L-glutamatergic therapies for the treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence. To this end, we performed a detailed behavioral pharmacology study to investigate the regulation of alcohol consumption and preference following administration of the mGluR7-selective drugs N,N′-dibenzyhydryl-ethane-1,2-diamine dihydrochloride (AMN082) and 6-(4-Methoxyphenyl)-5-methyl-3-(4-pyridinyl)-isoxazolo[4,5-c]pyridin-4(5H)-one hydrochloride (MMPIP). Upon administration of the allosteric agonist AMN082 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) in rats, there was a significant decrease in ethanol consumption and preference, without affecting ethanol blood metabolism. In contrast, mGluR7 blockade with MMPIP (10 mg/kg, i.p.) showed an increase in alcohol intake and reversed AMN082's effect on ethanol consumption and preference. Both mGluR7-directed pharmacological tools had no effect on total fluid intake, taste preference, or on spontaneous locomotor activity. In conclusion, these findings support a specific regulatory role for mGluR7 on alcohol drinking and preference and provide evidence for the use of AMN082-type drugs as potential new treatments for alcohol-use disorders in man.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-247
Number of pages13
JournalAddiction Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • AMN082
  • Alcohol
  • L-glutamate
  • mGluR7
  • two-bottle choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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