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J Neurophysiol. 2000 May;83(5):2996-3004.

D(1) dopamine receptor activation reduces GABA(A) receptor currents in neostriatal neurons through a PKA/DARPP-32/PP1 signaling cascade.

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Department of Physiology and Institute for Neuroscience, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


Dopamine is a critical determinant of neostriatal function, but its impact on intrastriatal GABAergic signaling is poorly understood. The role of D(1) dopamine receptors in the regulation of postsynaptic GABA(A) receptors was characterized using whole cell voltage-clamp recordings in acutely isolated, rat neostriatal medium spiny neurons. Exogenous application of GABA evoked a rapidly desensitizing current that was blocked by bicuculline. Application of the D(1) dopamine receptor agonist SKF 81297 reduced GABA-evoked currents in most medium spiny neurons. The D(1) dopamine receptor antagonist SCH 23390 blocked the effect of SKF 81297. Membrane-permeant cAMP analogues mimicked the effect of D(1) dopamine receptor stimulation, whereas an inhibitor of protein kinase A (PKA; Rp-8-chloroadenosine 3',5' cyclic monophosphothioate) attenuated the response to D(1) dopamine receptor stimulation or cAMP analogues. Inhibitors of protein phosphatase 1/2A potentiated the modulation by cAMP analogues. Single-cell RT-PCR profiling revealed consistent expression of mRNA for the beta1 subunit of the GABA(A) receptor-a known substrate of PKA-in medium spiny neurons. Immunoprecipitation assays of radiolabeled proteins revealed that D(1) dopamine receptor stimulation increased phosphorylation of GABA(A) receptor beta1/beta3 subunits. The D(1) dopamine receptor-induced phosphorylation of beta1/beta3 subunits was attenuated significantly in neostriata from DARPP-32 mutants. Voltage-clamp recordings corroborated these results, revealing that the efficacy of the D(1) dopamine receptor modulation of GABA(A) currents was reduced in DARPP-32-deficient medium spiny neurons. These results argue that D(1) dopamine receptor stimulation in neostriatal medium spiny neurons reduces postsynaptic GABA(A) receptor currents by activating a PKA/DARPP-32/protein phosphatase 1 signaling cascade targeting GABA(A) receptor beta1 subunits.

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