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Neuroscience. 1992 Jul;49(2):285-96.

D1 and D2 dopamine receptors differentially regulate c-fos expression in striatonigral and striatopallidal neurons.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The expression of Fos, the product of the proto-oncogene c-fos, is thought to be a marker of neuronal activity. D1, but not D2, dopamine receptor agonists have previously been shown to increase Fos immunoreactivity in striatonigral neurons ipsilateral to a 6-hydroxydopamine lesion of the nigrostriatal pathway. In the present study, it was demonstrated that the D1 receptor agonist SKF 38393 rarely increased Fos in striatopallidal neurons of the 6-hydroxydopamine denervated striatum. Conversely, in the intact striatum, the D2 receptor antagonist haloperidol enhanced Fos expression predominantly in striatopallidal neurons labelled retrogradely from the globus pallidus or with an oligonucleotide probe complementary to mRNA encoding enkephalin. These results are consistent with studies suggesting that D1 receptors are located predominantly on striatonigral neurons and that D2 receptors reside principally on enkephalin-containing striatopallidal neurons. They also provide a neuroanatomical basis for neurochemical and neurophysiological observations indicating that dopamine facilitates the activity of striatonigral neurons but inhibits striatopallidal neurons. In another experiment the selective D2 receptor agonist quinpirole was found to increase Fos immunoreactivity in the globus pallidus ipsilateral to a 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. It is proposed that this may have been due to a D2 receptor-mediated inhibition of enkephalin and GABA release from striatopallidal terminals that in turn disinhibited the pallidal neurons. In a final series of experiments, brain microdialysis was used to determine the location of dopamine receptors regulating striatal Fos expression. Local application of the selective D1 receptor agonist CY 208-243 in the 6-hydroxydopamine-denervated striatum, or of haloperidol in the intact striatum via the dialysis probe increased Fos immunoreactivity in the immediate vicinity of the probe. Hence, the inductive effects of these systematically administered compounds on Fos expression in the striatum are mediated at least partly by local dopamine receptors in the striatum. Taken together, these results suggest that the differential regulation of striatonigral and striatopallidal activity by dopamine is mediated by the largely separate location of D1 and D2 receptors on these outputs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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