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J Neurochem. 2001 Feb;76(3):881-91.

Dopamine D4 receptor-mediated regulation of rod opsin mRNA expression in tiger salamander.

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1
Department of Neurosciences, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Newark, New Jersey, USA. alfinipe@umdnj.edu

Abstract

Light stimulates dopamine release in the retina and has been shown to rapidly up-regulate rod opsin mRNA. In the present study, we tested the effect of dopamine on rod opsin mRNA expression and examined the hypothesis that dopamine can mediate a light-evoked increase in opsin gene expression. Northern blots showed that a 30-min light-exposure increased rod opsin mRNA expression 27%. In situ hybridization on isolated rods showed that 500 nM dopamine and 1 microM quinpirole (dopamine D2/D3/D4 agonist) increased opsin mRNA 45% and 26%, respectively. The effect of quinpirole was selectively blocked by the D4 antagonist, L750,667 (20 microM). In very low density cultures, quinpirole increased opsin expression 46%, suggesting a direct effect on rod photoreceptors. Consistent with a dopamine D4 receptor mechanism, 1 microM H-89 (protein kinase A inhibitor) increased opsin mRNA 39%. Finally, intravitreal injection of quinpirole increased opsin mRNA 21% whereas injection of L750,667 (10 microM) blocked the light-evoked increase in opsin expression. These data show that rod opsin mRNA is up-regulated by dopamine binding a D4-like receptor on rods, possibly through inhibition of protein kinase A, and that endogenous dopamine can mediate the light-evoked increase in opsin mRNA expression.

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