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J Neurosci Res. 2008 Nov 15;86(15):3435-46. doi: 10.1002/jnr.21783.

Cloning, expression, and functional analysis of rhesus monkey trace amine-associated receptor 6: evidence for lack of monoaminergic association.

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  • 1Division of Neurochemistry, New England Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Southborough, Massachusetts 01772, USA.


Several recent studies report an association between trace amine-associated receptor 6 (TAAR6) and susceptibility to schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder in humans. However, endogenous TAAR6 agonists and the receptor signaling profile and brain distribution remain unclear. Here, we clone TAAR6 from the rhesus monkey and use transfected cells to investigate whether this receptor interacts with brain monoamines and a psychostimulant drug to trigger cAMP signaling or extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, while investigating its expression profile in the rhesus monkey brain. Unlike TAAR1, rhesus monkey TAAR6 did not alter cAMP levels in response to 10 microM of monoamines (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, beta-phenylethylamine (beta-PEA), octopamine, tryptamine, and tyramine) or methamphetamine in stably transfected cells in vitro. Real-time cell electronic sensing analysis indicated that the receptor did not alter cell impedance or change the effect of forskolin on cell impedance at exposure to 20 microM of each monoamine, suggesting a lack of either Gs or Gi-linked signaling. Whereas kappa opioid receptor activation led to ERK phosphorylation at exposure to 1 microM U69593, rhesus monkey TAAR6 had no such effect at exposure to 10 microM of monoamines or methamphetamine. Membrane and cell surface localization of TAAR6 was confirmed by immunocytochemistry, biotinylation, and Western blot testing with a TAAR6 antibody in the transfected cells. Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction amplification showed that TAAR6 mRNA was undetectable in selected rhesus monkey brain regions. Together, the data reveal that TAAR6 is unresponsive to brain monoamines and is not expressed in rhesus monkey brain monoaminergic nuclei, suggesting TAAR6 lacks direct association with brain monoaminergic neuronal function.

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