Essential role of D1R in the regulation of mTOR complex1 signaling induced by cocaine.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine kinase that is involved in neuronal adaptions that underlie cocaine-induced sensitization and reward. mTOR exists in two functionally distinct multi-component complexes known as mTORC1 and mTORC2. In this study, we show that increased mTORC1 activity induced by cocaine is mediated by the dopamine D1 receptor (D1R). Specifically, cocaine treatment increased the phosphorylation on residues Thr2446 and Ser2481 but not on Ser2448 in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and that this increase in phosphorylated mTOR levels was also apparent when complexed with its binding partner Raptor. Furthermore, the increase in phosphorylated mTOR levels, as well as phosphorylated 4E-BP1 and S6K, downstream targets of mTORC1 were blocked with SCH23390 treatment. Similar results were also observed in the dopamine-transporter knockout mice as the increase in phosphorylated mTOR Thr2446 and Ser2481 was blocked by SCH23390 but not with raclopride. To further validate D1R role in mTORC1 signaling, decrease in phosphorylated mTOR levels were observed in D1R knockout mice, whereas administration of SKF81297 elevated phosphorylated mTOR in the NAc. Lastly deletion of mTOR or Raptor in D1R expressing neurons reduced cocaine-induced locomotor activity. Together, our data supports a mechanism whereby mTORC1 signaling is activated by cocaine administration through the stimulation of D1R.
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