Decreased dopamine receptor 1 activity and impaired motor-skill transfer in Dyt1 δGAG heterozygous knock-in mice

Fumiaki Yokoi, Mai T. Dang, Jun Liu, Jason R. Gandre, Kelly Kwon, Robert Yuen, Yuqing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


DYT1 dystonia is a movement disorder caused by a trinucleotide deletion (δGAG) in DYT1 (. TOR1A), corresponding to a glutamic acid loss in the C-terminal region of torsinA. Functional alterations in the basal ganglia circuits have been reported in both DYT1 dystonia patients and rodent models. Dyt1 δGAG heterozygous knock-in (KI) mice exhibit motor deficits and decreased striatal dopamine receptor 2 (D2R) binding activity, suggesting a malfunction of the indirect pathway. However, the role of the direct pathway in pathogenesis of dystonia is not yet clear. Here, we report that Dyt1 KI mice exhibit significantly decreased striatal dopamine receptor 1 (D1R) binding activity and D1R protein levels, suggesting the alteration of the direct pathway. The decreased D1R may be caused by translational or post-translational processes since Dyt1 KI mice had normal levels of striatal D1R mRNA and a normal number of striatal neurons expressing D1R. Levels of striatal ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits, dopamine transporter, acetylcholine muscarinic M4 receptor and adenosine A2A receptor were not altered suggesting a specificity of affected polytopic membrane-associated proteins. Contribution of the direct pathway to motor-skill learning has been suggested in another pharmacological rat model injected with a D1R antagonist. In the present study, we developed a novel motor skill transfer test for mice and found deficits in Dyt1 KI mice. Further characterization of both the direct and the indirect pathways in Dyt1 KI mice will aid the development of novel therapeutic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-210
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
StatePublished - Feb 5 2015


  • DYT1
  • Direct pathway
  • Dopamine receptor
  • Dystonia
  • Motor-skill transfer
  • TorsinA


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