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Pol J Pharmacol. 1999 Jan-Feb;51(1):39-47.

Interactive modulation by dopamine and serotonin neurons of receptor sensitivity of the alternate neurochemical system.

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Department of Pharmacology, Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City 37614-0577, USA.


Ontogenetic dopaminergic denervation of rat forebrain is associated with latent supersensitization of dopamine (DA) receptors that is unmasked only by a priming process entailing repeated DA agonist treatments. Similar denervation supersensitivity holds for serotonin (5-HT) and most other neurochemical systems. Because DA and 5-HT neurons compete for target sites in the brain and mimic or replicate actions of the others, we investigated the modulatory influence of DA neurons on 5-HT receptor sensitivity; and role of 5-HT neurons in modulating DA receptor sensitivity. In these studies rats were lesioned with the DA neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, i.c.v.; desipramine pretreatment) or 5-HT neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT, i.c.v.; desipramine pretreatment) either at 3 days after birth or in adulthood. Responses to DA and 5-HT agonists were determined in several behavioral paradigms in adulthood. In assessing oral responses to agonists, we found that the D1 agonist (+/-)-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine-7,8-diol (SKF 38393) profoundly induced activity if rats were lesioned neonatally with 6-OHDA, but not if rats were co-lesioned as neonates or as adults with 5,7-DHT. The D2 agonist quinpirole induced profound oral activity, but only if rats were lesioned as neonates with 5,7-DHT; or if rats were lesioned with both 6-OHDA (neonatally administered) and 5,7-DHT (adult stage). In all rats lesioned as neonates with 6-OHDA, the 5-HT2 agonist m-chlorophenylpiperazine produced enhanced activity, regardless of 5,7-DHT treatment. These findings demonstrate that DA neurons modulate receptor sensitivity status of both DA and 5-HT receptors; and 5-HT neurons do so similarly. This phenomenon is pertinent to animal models of human disorders and in the syndrome spectrum and treatment approach of human neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. parkinsonism, tardive dyskinesia), developmental disorders (e.g. hyperkinetic activity) and psychiatric disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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