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Neurochem Int. 1997 Oct;31(4):571-80.

Expression of a D2 dopamine receptor antisense RNA in brain inhibits D2-mediated behaviors.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA.


Drugs currently used to treat disorders of dopamine-mediated behaviors in the central nervous system are non-selective in that they interact not only with more than one isoform of dopamine receptor but also with receptors for other neurotransmitters. A new strategy to inhibit the actions of individual dopamine receptor subtypes is to inhibit the synthesis of the receptors through the use of oligonucleotides antisense to the transcripts encoding the different receptors. Earlier studies showed that oligodeoxynucleotides antisense to the D1 or D2 dopamine receptor messenger RNAs specifically inhibited the biological actions mediated by these individual isoforms of the dopamine receptor. However, these actions were relatively short-lasting. To determine whether one can achieve long-lasting inhibition of dopamine responses, while still taking advantage of the highly selective nature of an antisense strategy, an expression vector was employed that generates antisense RNA to the transcript encoding the D2 dopamine receptor. A single intrastriatal injection of this vector generated an antisense RNA to the D2 dopamine receptor, selectively reduced the levels of D2 dopamine receptors, and caused selective, long-term inhibition of behaviors mediated by D2 dopamine agonists. Such an antisense RNA strategy may find use in studying the function of dopaminergic receptors and in disorders associated with dopaminergic hyperactivity.

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