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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2006 Oct;31(10):2173-9. Epub 2006 Feb 1.

Stimulation of adenosine receptors selectively activates gene expression in striatal enkephalinergic neurons.

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Behavioral Neuroscience Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse, IRP, NIH, DHHS, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


In the striatum, adenosine A2A and dopamine D2 receptors exert reciprocal antagonistic interactions that modulate the function of GABAergic enkephalinergic neurons. We have previously shown that stimulation of adenosine A1 receptors allows the stimulation of A2A receptors to overcome a tonic inhibitory effect of D2 receptors and induce striatal expression of c-fos. In the present work, by studying co-localization of c-Fos immunoreactivity and preproenkephalin and preprodynorphin transcripts, we show that co-administration of the A1 receptor agonist CPA and the A2A receptor agonist CGS 21680 increases the striatal expression of c-fos in GABAergic enkephalinergic but not in GABAergic dynorphinergic neurons. Co-administration of CPA and CGS 21680 also induced a significant increase in the striatal expression of preproenkephalin. The results underscore the role of adenosine in the activation of gene expression in the GABAergic enkephalinergic neuron.

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