Differential effects of D1 and D2 dopamine receptor agonists on substantia nigra pars reticulata neurons.
ABSTRACT Dopamine was shown in previous studies to exert a dual effect on non-dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars reticulata: it increases the firing rates of about 50% of cells, and consistently lessens the ability of iontophoretically applied or endogenously released GABA to inhibit their firing. These studies were undertaken to determine (1) whether the two effects could occur independently and, (2) whether different dopamine receptor subtypes might mediate the two responses. Extracellular, single unit activities of pars reticulata neurons were monitored in male rats anesthetized with chloral hydrate. Repeated 30-s iontophoretic pulses of GABA were delivered at an ejection current sufficient to inhibit cell firing by at least 50%, but not totally. After establishing a consistent response to GABA, co-iontophoresis of a test compound was initiated to determine its effects on basal firing rates and responsiveness to GABA. When acetylcholine and glutamate were evaluated in the test paradigm using ejection currents which excited cells by 54.0 +/- 4.9%, neither compound consistently altered the inhibition elicited by GABA. This confirmed that increases in cell firing could occur without concurrent GABA-attenuating effects, and supported the contention that the dual effects of dopamine could be dissociated and perhaps independently mediated. To examine whether the effects of dopamine involve actions at different dopamine receptor subtypes within the nigra, the D1 agonist SKF 38393 and the D2 agonist LY 171555 were substituted in the procedure. Applications of R,S(+/-)-SKF 38393 caused current-dependent increases in firing with a maximal increase at 8 nA of 55 +/- 18% above baseline (n = 14). The excitatory effect appeared to be D1-mediated since R(+)-SKF 38393, but not the inactive S(+)-enantiomer, could elicit the response. Conversely, graded applications of LY 171555 caused only occasional and more modest increases in basal activities, but consistently and markedly attenuated responses to GABA, decreasing GABA's inhibitory potency by 60.9 +/- 4.3% at 10 nA (n = 17). These results provide support for discrete roles of D1 and D2 receptors in substantia nigra pars reticulata, and suggest mechanistically distinct ways by which dendritically released dopamine could act to modify basal ganglia output from this region.
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ABSTRACT: The basal ganglia are comprised of the striatum, the external and internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPe and GPi, respectively), the subthalamic nucleus (STN), and the substantia nigra pars compacta and reticulata (SNc and SNr, respectively). Dopamine has long been identified as an important modulator of basal ganglia function in the striatum, and disturbances of striatal dopaminergic transmission have been implicated in diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD), addiction and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, recent evidence suggests that dopamine may also modulate basal ganglia function at sites outside of the striatum, and that changes in dopaminergic transmission at these sites may contribute to the symptoms of PD and other neuropsychiatric disorders. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the anatomy, functional effects and behavioral consequences of the dopaminergic innervation to the GPe, GPi, STN, and SNr. Further insights into the dopaminergic modulation of basal ganglia function at extrastriatal sites may provide us with opportunities to develop new and more specific strategies for treating disorders of basal ganglia dysfunction.Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 01/2010; 4:139. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Somatodendritic dopamine (DA) release in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) shows a limited dependence on extracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](o)), suggesting the involvement of intracellular Ca(2+) stores. Here, using immunocytochemistry we demonstrate the presence of the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase 2 (SERCA2) that sequesters cytosolic Ca(2+) into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), as well as inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptors (IP(3)Rs) and ryanodine receptors (RyRs) in DAergic neurons. Notably, RyRs were clustered at the plasma membrane, poised for activation by Ca(2+) entry. Using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to monitor evoked extracellular DA concentration ([DA](o)) in midbrain slices, we found that SERCA inhibition by cyclopiazonic acid (CPA) decreased evoked [DA](o) in the SNc, indicating a functional role for ER Ca(2+) stores in somatodendritic DA release. Implicating IP(3)R-dependent stores, an IP(3)R antagonist, 2-APB, also decreased evoked [DA](o). Moreover, DHPG, an agonist of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR1s, which couple to IP(3) production), increased somatodendritic DA release, whereas CPCCOEt, an mGluR1 antagonist, suppressed it. Release suppression by mGluR1 blockade was prevented by 2-APB or CPA, indicating facilitation of DA release by endogenous glutamate acting via mGluR1s and IP(3)R-gated Ca(2+) stores. Similarly, activation of RyRs by caffeine increased [Ca(2+)](i) and elevated evoked [DA](o). The increase in DA release was prevented by a RyR blocker, dantrolene, and by CPA. Importantly, the efficacy of dantrolene was enhanced in low [Ca(2+)](o), suggesting a mechanism for maintenance of somatodendritic DA release with limited Ca(2+) entry. Thus, both mGluR1-linked IP(3)R- and RyR-dependent ER Ca(2+) stores facilitate somatodendritic DA release in the SNc.Journal of Neuroscience 06/2009; 29(20):6568-79. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cortico-basal ganglia (BG) circuits are thought to promote the acquisition of motor skills through reinforcement learning. In songbirds, a specialized portion of the BG is responsible for song learning and plasticity. This circuit generates song variability that underlies vocal experimentation in young birds and modulates song variability depending on the social context in adult birds. When male birds sing in the presence of a female, a social context associated with decreased BG-induced song variability, the extracellular dopamine (DA) level is increased in the avian BG nucleus Area X. These results suggest that DA could trigger song variability changes through its action in Area X. Consistent with this hypothesis, we report that DA delivered to Area X weakens the output signal of the avian cortico-BG circuit. Acting through D(1) receptors, DA reduced responses in Area X to song playback and to electrical stimulation of its afferent cortical nucleus HVC (used as a proper name). Specifically, DA reduced the response to direct excitatory input and decreased firing variability in Area X pallidal neurons, which provide the output to the thalamus. As a consequence, DA delivery in Area X also decreased responses to song playback in the cortical output nucleus of the BG loop, the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium. Further, interfering with D(1) receptor transmission in Area X abolished social context-related changes in song variability. In conclusion, we propose that DA acts on D(1) receptors in Area X to modulate the BG output signal and trigger changes in song variability.Journal of Neuroscience 04/2010; 30(16):5730-43. · 6.91 Impact Factor