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Brain Res. 2009 Dec 22;1304:1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.09.045. Epub 2009 Sep 23.

K(v) channel interacting protein 3 expression and regulation by haloperidol in midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

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  • 1Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney 2031, Australia.


Antipsychotic drugs are the main treatment for schizophrenia, despite their adverse side effects and uncertain mode of action. Gene expression studies in the brains of rodents treated with antipsychotic drugs aim to uncover this mechanism and elucidate more specific targets for schizophrenia treatment. Previous expression profiling analyses showed that K(v) channel interacting protein 3 (KChIP3) was down-regulated in the mouse brain following treatment with multiple antipsychotic drugs. In this study, we used in situ hybridization to anatomically define the expression of KChIP3 mRNA in the mouse brain and to quantify its regulation by 7-day haloperidol treatment. We used immunohistochemistry to localize KChIP3 protein expression in the midbrain, dorsal and ventral striatum and the prefrontal cortex. We found KChIP3 mRNA throughout the grey matter of the brain, with high expression in the hippocampus, specific thalamic nuclei, deeper cortical layers and in the midbrain. KChIP3 mRNA was significantly down-regulated in the dorsal striatum and the ventral tegmental area following haloperidol treatment. KChIP3 protein is expressed in the neuropil in the cortex and striatum, as well as in the soma of deeper layer cortical and striatal neurons. This study, for the first time, also localized KChIP3 protein in the cell bodies and processes of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. These findings indicate that regulation of KChIP3, particularly in mesocortical dopamine neurons, may be part of the action of antipsychotic drugs and that prolonged and more specific targeting of ion channel subunits may enhance the therapeutic effects of antipsychotic drugs.

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