In the early sixties, anticholinergic drugs were introduced in the pharmacological treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). The rationale behind their utilisation in the treatment of the disease was based on the evidence of an imbalance between the dopaminergic inputs and the intrinsic cholinergic innervation within the striatum. Metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors have been shown to play a key role in striatal function both in physiological conditions and in experimental models of diseases affecting this brain area. Indeed, compelling electrophysiological and morphological evidence shows that mGlu receptors are highly expressed at cellular level and exert a profound modulatory role on cholinergic interneurons excitability. This review will provide a brief survey of studies on the localization and function of mGlu receptors in cholinergic interneurons. The potential relevance of these findings in the control of motor function and in the treatment of PD will be discussed.
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