Research Article| Volume 30, ISSUE 10, P985-1007, November 15, 1991

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Expression of the dopamine D2 receptor gene in brain

  • James H. Meador-Woodruff
    Address reprint requests to James H. Meador-Woodruff, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health Research Institute, University of Michigan Medical Center, 205 Zina Pitcher Place, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0720.
    From the Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health Research Institute, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • Alfred Mansour
    From the Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health Research Institute, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 The authors would like to acknowledge the intellectual support and continual encouragement of Drs. Huda Akil and Stanley J. Watson Jr. of the University of Michigan. Dr. Meador-Woodruff is the recipient of a ADAMHA Level I Research Scientist Development Award (1K01 MH00818), and was supported by the American Psychiatric Association/Lilly Psychiatric Fellowship during the first year of these studies.
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      The cloning of the dopamine (DA) D2 receptor now permits the characterization and regulation of D2 messenger RNA (mRNA) in the brain. In this article, the authors describe their studies delineating the distribution of D2 receptor mRNA in the rodent and primate brain, and compare the distribution of message to D2 receptor binding sites. The effects of chronic DA agonist and antagonist treatment on D2 receptor mRNA are also presented, and provide insights into receptor regulation. Finally, the autoreceptor role of D2 receptors located in the midbrain is examined with a combination of 6-hydroxydopamine lesions and anatomic colocalization studies with tyrosine hydroxylase. These preclinical results provide a framework for subsequent investigation into the nature of D2 receptor gene expression in postmortem brains from patients with disorders putatively associated with dopaminergic dysfunction, especially schizophrenia. They also lay the groundwork for a more profound understanding of DA neurocircuitry by combining molecular biological and traditional anatomical techniques.
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