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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

alpha2C adrenoceptors inhibit adenylyl cyclase in mouse striatum: potential activation by dopamine.

alpha2C adrenoceptors occur in high density in the striatum, but the functional role of these receptors is uncertain. Mice with targeted inactivation of the alpha2C adrenoceptor gene (Adra2c-/-) and genetically related control mice expressing the wild-type alpha2C adrenoceptor (Adra2c+/+) were used to determine whether striatal alpha2C adrenoceptors modulate adenylyl cyclase activation. In striatal slices from Adra2c+/+ mice, the alpha2 adrenoceptor antagonist RX821002 facilitated forskolin-stimulated cyclic AMP accumulation in a concentration-dependent manner. In contrast, RX821002 had no effect on forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation in striatal slices from Adra2c-/- mice or in striatal slices from Adra2c+/+ mice treated with reserpine and alpha-methyl-rho-tyrosine to deplete monoamine neurotransmitters. Given the sparse innervation of the striatum by noradrenergic neurons, the possibility that dopamine can activate the mouse alpha2C adrenoceptor at physiologically relevant concentrations was investigated using normal rat kidney (NRK) cells transfected with the mouse alpha2A or alpha2C adrenoceptor cDNA (NRK-alpha2A or NRK-alpha2C cells). Inhibition of [3H]RX821002 binding by agonists in homogenates of transfected cells revealed an affinity of dopamine for alpha2C adrenoceptors that was higher than the affinity of norepinephrine for its cognate receptor, the alpha2A adrenoceptor. Both norepinephrine and dopamine inhibited forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation in intact NRK-alpha2C cells. In NRK-alpha2A cells, norepinephrine facilitated forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation, an effect not observed for dopamine. Together, these data demonstrate that the alpha2C adrenoceptor is negatively coupled to adenylyl cyclase and is tonically activated in mouse striatal slices. The endogenous activator of the striatal alpha2C adrenoceptor may be dopamine, as well as norepinephrine.[1]


  1. alpha2C adrenoceptors inhibit adenylyl cyclase in mouse striatum: potential activation by dopamine. Zhang, W., Klimek, V., Farley, J.T., Zhu, M.Y., Ordway, G.A. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. (1999) [Pubmed]
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