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Brain Res. 2004 Oct 1;1022(1-2):214-20.

Regulators of G-protein signaling 4: modulation of 5-HT1A-mediated neurotransmitter release in vivo.

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  • 1Neuroscience Discovery Research, Wyeth Research, CN 8000, Princeton, NJ 08543-8000, USA.


Regulators of G-protein signaling (RGS) play a key role in the signal transduction of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Specifically, RGS proteins function as GTPase accelerating proteins (GAPs) to dampen or "negatively regulate" GPCR-mediated signaling. Our group recently showed that RGS4 effectively GAPs Galpha(i)-mediated signaling in CHO cells expressing the serotonin-1A (5-HT(1A)) receptor. However, whether a similar relationship exists in vivo has yet to be identified. In present studies, a replication-deficient herpes simplex virus (HSV) was used to elevate RGS4 mRNA in the rat dorsal raphe nuclei (DRN) while extracellular levels of 5-HT in the striatum were monitored by in vivo microdialysis. Initial experiments conducted with noninfected rats showed that acute administration of 8-OH-DPAT (0.01-0.3 mg/kg, subcutaneous [s.c.]) dose dependently decreased striatal levels of 5-HT, an effect postulated to result from activation of somatodendritic 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors in the DRN. In control rats receiving a single intra-DRN infusion of HSV-LacZ, 8-OH-DPAT (0.03 mg/kg, s.c.) decreased 5-HT levels to an extent similar to that observed in noninfected animals. Conversely, rats infected with HSV-RGS4 in the DRN showed a blunted neurochemical response to 8-OH-DPAT (0.03 mg/kg, s.c.); however, increasing the dose to 0.3 mg/kg reversed this effect. Together, these findings represent the first in vivo evidence demonstrating that RGS4 functions to GAP Galpha(i)-coupled receptors and suggest that drug discovery efforts targeting RGS proteins may represent a novel mechanism to manipulate 5-HT(1A)-mediated neurotransmitter release.

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