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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Jul;39(8):1833-42. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.30. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

Amphetamine self-administration attenuates dopamine D2 autoreceptor function.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, USA.
2
Department of Otolaryngology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, USA.
3
1] Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, USA [2] The Center for Neurobiology of Addiction Treatment, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, USA.

Abstract

Dopamine D2 autoreceptors located on the midbrain dopaminergic neurons modulate dopamine (DA) neuron firing, DA release, and DA synthesis through a negative-back mechanism. Dysfunctional D2 autoreceptors following repeated drug exposure could lead to aberrant DA activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and projection areas such as nucleus accumbens (NAcc), promoting drug-seeking and -taking behavior. Therefore, it is important to understand molecular mechanisms underlying drug-induced changes in D2 autoreceptors. Here, we reported that 5 days of amphetamine (AMPH) self-administration reduced the ability of D2 autoreceptors to inhibit DA release in the NAcc as determined by voltammetry. Using the antibody-capture [(35)S]GTPγS scintillation proximity assay, we demonstrated for the first time that midbrain D2/D3 receptors were preferentially coupled to Gαi2, whereas striatal D2/D3 receptors were coupled equally to Gαi2 and Gαo for signaling. Importantly, AMPH abolished the interaction between Gαi2 and D2/D3 receptors in the midbrain while leaving striatal D2/D3 receptors unchanged. The disruption of the coupling between D2/D3 receptors and Gαi2 by AMPH is at least partially explained by the enhanced RGS2 (regulator of G-protein signaling 2) activity resulting from an increased RGS2 trafficking to the membrane. AMPH had no effects on the midbrain expression and trafficking of other RGS proteins such as RGS4 and RGS8. Our data suggest that midbrain D2/D3 receptors are more susceptible to AMPH-induced alterations. Reduced D2 autoreceptor function could lead to enhanced DA signaling and ultimately addiction-related behavior. RGS2 may be a potential non-dopaminergic target for pharmacological intervention of dysfunctional DA transmission and drug addiction.

PMID:
24513972
PMCID:
PMC4059891
DOI:
10.1038/npp.2014.30
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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