Pathogenic autosomal recessive mutations in the DJ-1 (Park7) or the PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (Pink1 or PARK6) genes are associated with familial Parkinson's disease (PD). It is not well known regarding the pathological mechanisms involving the DJ-1 and Pink1 mutations. Here we characterized DJ-1 and Pink1 knockout rats both through expression profiling and using quantitative autoradiography to measure the densities of the dopamine D1, D2, D3 receptors, vesicular monoamine transporter type-2 (VMAT2) and dopamine transporter (DAT) in the striatum of transgenic rats and wild type controls. Expression profiling with a commercially available array of 84 genes known to be involved in PD indicated that only the target gene was significantly downregulated in each transgenic rat model. D1 receptor, VMAT2, and DAT were measured using [3H]SCH23390, [3H]dihydrotetrabenazine, and [3H]WIN35428, respectively. No significant changes were observed in the density of DAT in either model. Although the densities of VMAT2 and D1 receptor were unchanged in Pink1 knockout, but both were increased in DJ-1 knockout rats. The densities of D2 and D3 receptors, determined by mathematical analysis of binding of radioligands [3H]WC-10 and [3H]raclopride, were significantly increased in both knockout models. These distinctive changes in the expression of dopamine presynaptic markers and receptors in the striatum may reflect different compensatory regulation of dopamine system in DJ-1 versus Pink1 knockout rat models of familial PD.
- Dopamine receptors
- Parkinson's disease