Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract: The catecholamines dopamine (DA), epinephrine (EP), and norepinephrine (NE) play important roles in learning and memory, emotional states, and control of voluntary movement, as well as cardiovascular and kidney function. They activate distinct but overlapping neuronal pathways through five distinct DA receptors (D1R–D5R) and at least 10 different adrenergic receptors (α1a/b/c, α2a/b/c-1/c-2, and β1/β2/β3). The D4R, which is localized to mesolimbic areas of the brain implicated in affective and emotional behavior, has a deduced amino acid sequence with homology to both adrenergic and dopaminergic receptor subtypes. We report here that DA, EP, and NE all show binding in the nanomolar range to three isoforms of the recombinant human D4R (hD4R): D4.2, D4.4, and D4.7. Submicromolar concentrations of DA, EP, and NE were sufficient to activate hD4R isoforms in two different functional assays: agonist-induced guanosine 5′-O-(3-[35S]thiotriphosphate) binding and modulation of adenylyl cyclase activity. DA was approximately fivefold more potent than EP and NE at the D4R, whereas activation of the human D2R required at least 100-fold higher catecholamine concentrations. Functional activation of the D4R by multiple neurotransmitters may provide a novel mechanism for integration of catecholamine signaling in the brain and periphery.
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