Dopamine D4 receptor (D4R) knockout mice (D4R-/-) provided for unique neurochemical studies designed to understand D4R contributions to dopamine (DA) regulation. In this study, post-mortem brain tissue content of DA did not differ between D4R+/+ and D4R-/- mice in the striatum (Str) or nucleus accumbens core (NAc). However, there was a significant decrease (82%) in the content of 3,4-dihydoxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), a major metabolite of DA, in the NAc of D4R-/- mice. Microdialysis studies performed in a region of brain spanning of the dorsal Str and NAc showed lower baseline levels of DA and a significant reduction in KCl-evoked overflow of DA in the D4R-/- mice. Baseline extracellular levels of DOPAC and homovanillic acid were also significantly lower in the D4R-/- mice. In vivo chronoamperometric recordings of KCl-evoked release of DA also showed decreased release of DA in the Str and NAc of the D4R-/- mice. These studies demonstrate a role of D4Rs in presynaptic DA regulation and support the hypothesis that alterations in D4Rs may lead to diminished DA function.
- Dopamine receptors
- Nucleus accumbens core