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Mol Psychiatry. 2004 Oct;9(10):932-45, 895.

Acute amygdalar activation induces an upregulation of multiple monoamine G protein coupled pathways in rat hippocampus.

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Program in Structural and Molecular Neuroscience, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA.


A "partial" rodent model for schizophrenia has been used to characterize the regulation of hippocampal genes in response to amygdalar activation. At 96 h after the administration of picrotoxin into the basolateral nucleus, we have observed an increase in the expression of genes associated with 18 different monoamine (ie adrenergic alpha 1, alpha 2 and beta 2, serotonergic 5HT5b and 5HT6, dopamine D4 and muscarinic m1, m2 and m3) and peptide (CCK A and B, angiotensin 1A, mu and kappa opiate, FSH, TSH, LH, GNRH, and neuropeptide Y) G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). These latter receptors are associated with three different G protein signaling pathways (Gq, Gs, and Gi) in which significant changes in gene expression were also noted for adenylate cyclase (AC4), phosphodiesterase (PDE4D), protein kinase A (PKA), and protein kinase C (PKC). Quantitative RT-PCR was used to validate the results and demonstrated that there were predictable increases of three GPCRs selected for this analysis, including the dopamine D4, alpha 1b, and CCK-B receptors. Eight out of the nine monoamine receptors showing these changes have moderate to high affinity for the atypical antipsychotic, clozapine. Taken together, these results suggest that amygdalar activation may play a role in the pathophysiology and treatment of psychosis by regulating the activity of multiple GPCR and metabolic pathways in hippocampal cells.

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