Microanatomical localization of dopamine receptor protein immunoreactivity in the rat cerebellar cortex

Sezione di Anatomia Umana, Dipartimento di Scienze Farmacologiche e Medicina Sperimentale, Università di Camerino, Via Scalzino, 3, I-62032 Camerino, Italy; Dipartimento di Scienze Cardiovascolari e Respiratorie, Università “La Sapienza”, 00161 Rome, Italy; Sezione di Anatomia Umana, Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, Università di Genova, Genoa, Italy
Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.88). 02/2000; DOI: 10.1016/S0006-8993(99)02306-9

ABSTRACT Dopamine (DA) receptor subtype localization was investigated in rat cerebellar cortex using immunohistochemical techniques with antibodies raised against D1–D5 receptor protein. A faint D1 receptor protein immunoreactivity was developed in molecular and Purkinje neurons layers. D2 receptor protein immunoreactivity was found primarily in cerebellar white matter followed by molecular and granular layers and Purkinje neurons. Antibodies against D2S receptor protein were localized in molecular layer and to a lesser extent, in granular layer. A few Purkinje neurons displayed a faint D2S receptor protein immunoreactivity. D3 receptor protein immunoreactivity was observed primarily in molecular and in Purkinje neurons layers of lobules 9 and 10. A faint D3 receptor protein immunoreactivity was also localized in Purkinje neurons and to a lesser extent, in molecular and granular layers of cerebellar lobules 1–8. D4 receptor protein immunoreactivity was found in cerebellar white matter. A pale immunostaining was also visualized in molecular layer. D5 receptor protein immunoreactivity was localized primarily in molecular and Purkinje neurons layers and to a lesser extent, in granular layer and in white matter. The above results indicate that rat cerebellar cortex expresses the DA receptor subtypes so far identified. Purkinje neurons, which are the only efferent neurons of cerebellum, are richest in DA receptor protein immunoreactivity. This suggests that dopaminergic neurotransmission may modulate efferent inputs from cerebellum. The localization of the majority of D2 and D4 and of a faint D5 protein receptor immunoreactivity in cerebellar white matter suggests that these receptors may be presynaptic and transported axonally.

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