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Expression and function of dopamine receptors in the developing medial frontal cortex and striatum of the rat.


Sillivan SE , Konradi C , . Neuroscience. primary| primary 12 29; 199(). 501-14


The timeline of dopamine (DA) system maturation and the signaling properties of DA receptors (DRs) during rat brain development are not fully characterized. We used in situ hybridization and quantitative PCR to map DR mRNA transcripts in the medial frontal cortex (mFC) and striatum (STR) of the rat from embryonic day (E) 15 to E21. The developmental trajectory of DR mRNAs revealed distinct patterns of DA receptors 1 and 2 (DRD1, DRD2) in these brain regions. Whereas the mFC had a steeper increase in DRD1 mRNA, the STR had a steeper increase in DRD2 mRNA. Both DR mRNAs were expressed at a higher level in the STR compared with the mFC. To identify the functional properties of DRs during embryonic development, the phosphorylation states of cyclic AMP response element binding protein, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, and glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta were examined after DR stimulation in primary neuronal cultures obtained from E15 and E18 embryos and cultured for 3 days to ensure a stable baseline level. DR-mediated signaling cascades were functional in E15 cultures in both brain regions. Because DA fibers do not reach the mFC by E15, and DA was not present in cultures, these data indicate that DRs can become functional in the absence of DA innervation. Because activation of DR signal transduction pathways can affect network organization of the developing brain, maternal exposure to drugs that affect DR activity may be liable to interfere with fetal brain development.

Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.