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Neuron. 2003 Apr 24;38(2):291-303.

Dopaminergic supersensitivity in G protein-coupled receptor kinase 6-deficient mice.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute Laboratories, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Brain dopaminergic transmission is a critical component in numerous vital functions, and its dysfunction is involved in several disorders, including addiction and Parkinson's disease. Responses to dopamine are mediated via G protein-coupled dopamine receptors (D1-D5). Desensitization of G protein-coupled receptors is mediated via phosphorylation by members of the family of G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRK1-GRK7). Here we show that GRK6-deficient mice are supersensitive to the locomotor-stimulating effect of psychostimulants, including cocaine and amphetamine. In addition, these mice demonstrate an enhanced coupling of striatal D2-like dopamine receptors to G proteins and augmented locomotor response to direct dopamine agonists both in intact and in dopamine-depleted animals. The present study indicates that postsynaptic D2-like dopamine receptors are physiological targets for GRK6 and suggests that this regulatory mechanism contributes to central dopaminergic supersensitivity.

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