Dopamine D2S and D2L receptors may differentially contribute to the actions of antipsychotic and psychotic agents in mice

  • Xu R
  • Hranilovic D
  • Fetsko L
 et al. 
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Regulation of dopamine D2 receptor (D2) function plays an important role in alleviating either the motor deficits of Parkinson's disease or psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. D2 also plays a critical role in sensorimotor gating which can be measured by monitoring the prepulse inhibition of the startle response. Alternative splicing of the D2 gene generates two isoforms, D2S and D2L. Here we investigated the role of D2S and D2L in the mechanisms of action of dopaminergic drugs, using mice lacking D2L (D2L(-/-)) but expressing D2S as a model system. We found that the typical antipsychotic raclopride was much less potent in inhibiting locomotor activity and eliciting catalepsy (or parkinsonism) in D2L(-/-) mice, whereas the atypical antipsychotic clozapine was equally effective in D2L(-/-) and wild-type mice. These suggest that the deletion of D2L diminishes drug-induced parkinsonism. Furthermore, two dopamine agonists, amphetamine and apomorphine, reduced prepulse inhibition to a similar degree in D2L(-/-) and wild-type mice. These results together suggest that D2S alone can mediate the action of clozapine and the dopamine agonist-induced disruption of prepulse inhibition. The differential binding affinities of these agents for D2S vs D2L were not sufficient to explain the divergent effects of typical vs atypical antipsychotics in D2L(-/-) mice. These findings suggest that D2S and D2L may differentially contribute to the therapeutic actions and side effects of antipsychotic agents, and may have implications for developing better antipsychotic agents.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Amphetamine
  • Apomorphine
  • Catalepsy
  • Clozapine
  • Dissociation constant
  • Dopamine D2L knockout mice
  • Haloperidol
  • Locomotion
  • Prepulse inhibition
  • Raclopride

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