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Synapse. 1996 Feb;22(2):114-22.

D1 and D2 receptor regulation of preproenkephalin and preprodynorphin mRNA in rat striatum following acute injection of amphetamine or methamphetamine.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina 27858-4354, USA.


Our previous work has demonstrated a dose-dependent induction of striatal preprodynorphin (PPD) in response to a single injection of the psychostimulants amphetamine (AMPH) or methamphetamine (METH). In the present study, dose-response effects of acute administration of these stimulants on preproenkephalin (PPE) mRNA expression in the rat striatum were investigated with quantitative in situ hybridization histochemistry 3 h after injection. Acute AMPH or METH at equimolar doses (3.75, 7.5, 15, and 30 mumol/kg) significantly increased PPE mRNA expression in dorsal (caudoputamen), but not ventral (nucleus accumbens), striatum in a dose-dependent fashion. In addition, the role of D1 and D2 dopamine receptors in mediating AMPH- and METH-stimulated PPE and PPD expression was also evaluated by using subtype-specific antagonists. Pretreatment of rats with SCH 23390 (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.), a selective D1 receptor antagonist, completely blocked acute AMPH (21 mumol/kg, i.p.)- or METH (21 mumol/kg, i.p.)-induced PPE as well as PPD mRNA expression in the caudoputamen. Pretreatment with eticlopride (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.), a selective D2 receptor antagonist, also blocked PPD induction by the two stimulants, but PPE induction was unaffected. Furthermore, SCH 23390 decreased, and eticlopride elevated, constitutive PPE mRNA levels in the caudoputamen. Neither antagonist had a significant effect on the basal level of PPE or PPD mRNA in the nucleus accumbens. These results demonstrate a clear dose-related responsiveness of PPE gene expression in striatal neurons in response to acute administration of amphetamines, although the intensity of the response is far less than that for striatal PPD. Furthermore, both D1 and D2 subtypes of dopamine receptors mediate AMPH- and METH-stimulated striatal PPD mRNA expression, whereas D1 receptor activation alone mediates amphetamine-stimulated PPE mRNA expression in the rat striatum.

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