Comparative postnatal development of dopamine D(1), D(2) and D(4) receptors in rat forebrain.
ABSTRACT Postnatal development of dopamine D(1), D(2) and D(4) receptors in the caudate-putamen, nucleus accumbens, frontal cortex and hippocampus was assessed in rat brain between postnatal days 7 and 60. In the caudate-putamen and nucleus accumbens, density of all three receptor subtypes increased to a peak at postnatal day 28, then declined significantly in both regions (postnatal days 35-60) to adult levels. In the frontal cortex and hippocampus, these receptors rose steadily and continuously to stable, maximal adult levels by postnatal day 60. Evidently, D(1), D(2) and D(4) receptors follow a similar course of development in several cortical, limbic and extrapyramidal regions of rat forebrain, with selective elimination of excess dopamine receptors at the time of puberty in the caudate-putamen and accumbens but not other brain regions.
Article: Developmental changes in human dopamine neurotransmission: cortical receptors and terminators.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Dopamine is integral to cognition, learning and memory, and dysfunctions of the frontal cortical dopamine system have been implicated in several developmental neuropsychiatric disorders. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is critical for working memory which does not fully mature until the third decade of life. Few studies have reported on the normal development of the dopamine system in human DLPFC during postnatal life. We assessed pre- and postsynaptic components of the dopamine system including tyrosine hydroxylase, the dopamine receptors (D1, D2 short and D2 long isoforms, D4, D5), catechol-O-methyltransferase, and monoamine oxidase (A and B) in the developing human DLPFC (6 weeks -50 years). Gene expression was first analysed by microarray and then by quantitative real-time PCR. Protein expression was analysed by western blot. Protein levels for tyrosine hydroxylase peaked during the first year of life (p < 0.001) then gradually declined to adulthood. Similarly, mRNA levels of dopamine receptors D2S (p < 0.001) and D2L (p = 0.003) isoforms, monoamine oxidase A (p < 0.001) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (p = 0.024) were significantly higher in neonates and infants as was catechol-O-methyltransferase protein (32 kDa, p = 0.027). In contrast, dopamine D1 receptor mRNA correlated positively with age (p = 0.002) and dopamine D1 receptor protein expression increased throughout development (p < 0.001) with adults having the highest D1 protein levels (p ≤ 0.01). Monoamine oxidase B mRNA and protein (p < 0.001) levels also increased significantly throughout development. Interestingly, dopamine D5 receptor mRNA levels negatively correlated with age (r = -0.31, p = 0.018) in an expression profile opposite to that of the dopamine D1 receptor. We find distinct developmental changes in key components of the dopamine system in DLPFC over postnatal life. Those genes that are highly expressed during the first year of postnatal life may influence and orchestrate the early development of cortical neural circuitry while genes portraying a pattern of increasing expression with age may indicate a role in DLPFC maturation and attainment of adult levels of cognitive function.BMC Neuroscience 02/2012; 13:18. · 3.04 Impact Factor
Article: Adolescent changes in dopamine d1 receptor expression in orbitofrontal cortex and piriform cortex accompany an associative learning deficit.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and piriform cortex are involved in encoding the predictive value of olfactory stimuli in rats, and neural responses to olfactory stimuli in these areas change as associations are learned. This experience-dependent plasticity mirrors task-related changes previously observed in mesocortical dopamine neurons, which have been implicated in learning the predictive value of cues. Although forms of associative learning can be found at all ages, cortical dopamine projections do not mature until after postnatal day 35 in the rat. We hypothesized that these changes in dopamine circuitry during the juvenile and adolescent periods would result in age-dependent differences in learning the predictive value of environmental cues. Using an odor-guided associative learning task, we found that adolescent rats learn the association between an odor and a palatable reward significantly more slowly than either juvenile or adult rats. Further, adolescent rats displayed greater distractibility during the task than either juvenile or adult rats. Using real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemical methods, we observed that the behavioral deficit in adolescence coincides with a significant increase in D1 dopamine receptor expression compared to juvenile rats in both the OFC and piriform cortex. Further, we found that both the slower learning and increased distractibility exhibited in adolescence could be alleviated by experience with the association task as a juvenile, or by an acute administration of a low dose of either the dopamine D1 receptor agonist SKF-38393 or the D2 receptor antagonist eticlopride. These results suggest that dopaminergic modulation of cortical function may be important for learning the predictive value of environmental stimuli, and that developmental changes in cortical dopaminergic circuitry may underlie age-related differences in associative learning.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e56191. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Rewards, aversions and affect in adolescence: emerging convergences across laboratory animal and human data.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The adolescent transition is associated with increases in reward- and sensation-seeking, peer-directed social interactions, and risk-taking, with exploratory use of alcohol and other drugs often beginning at this time. These age-related behaviors may have biological roots embedded in the evolutionary past, with similar adolescent-typical characteristics evident across a variety of mammalian species. Drawing across human behavioral and fMRI data and studies conducting in laboratory animals, this review examines processing of rewards, aversions, and affect in adolescence. Evidence for both hyper- and hypo-reactivity during adolescence in the processing of rewards is reviewed, along with possible contributors to these differences. Indications of sometimes heightened reward reactivity during adolescence are contrasted with frequent attenuations in adolescent sensitivity to aversive stimuli. At the same time, adolescents appear particularly prone to becoming emotionally aroused, especially in social contexts. Emerging evidence hints that exaggerated adolescent reactivity in reward and affective systems may be promoted in part by unusual strong cross-reactivity between these systems during adolescence. Such age-related propensities may promote adolescent risk taking, especially in social and exciting contexts, and contribute to adolescent-typical propensities to attach greater benefit and less cost to risky behaviors such as alcohol and drug use than individuals at other ages.Developmental cognitive neuroscience. 10/2011; 1(4):392-400.