Cocaine and amphetamine elicit differential effects in rats with a unilateral injection of dopamine transporter antisense oligodeoxynucleotides.
We have developed an antisense oligodeoxynucleotide to the dopamine transporter and used it to discriminate the behavioral properties of amphetamine and cocaine. In SK-N-MC cells permanently transfected with the dopamine transporter complementary DNA, treatment with 5 mM antisense oligodeoxynucleotide reduced dopamine uptake by 25% when compared to sense control. Unilateral intranigral administration of dopamine transporter antisense (50 microM) twice daily in freely moving rats for 2.5 days was sufficient to reduce dopamine transporter messenger RNA by 70% as measured by in situ hybridization, but not protein levels as measured by [3H]mazindol binding. However, intranigral treatment via implanted osmotic minipump over a period of seven days produced reductions in both dopamine transporter messenger RNA and protein levels (32%) at a dose of 500 pmol/day. These results indicate a longer half-life for the dopamine transporter than expected. Potassium chloride depolarization of ipsilateral striatal slices showed a greater than 200% increase in dopamine overflow on the antisense-treated side compared to the control side. Since imbalance of dopamine tone is known to induce rotational activity, we tested this behavioral paradigm in rats treated with various oligodeoxynucleotides at different doses and time-points. We have found that antisense-treated animals did not rotate spontaneously under any experimental conditions. Using various psychostimulants that target the dopamine transporter and increase dopamine levels, we found that the antisense-treated animals consistently rotated contralaterally in response to amphetamine (2 mg/kg), but not to cocaine (10 mg/kg) or nomifensine (10 mg/kg). These results bring in vivo evidence for a different mode of action of amphetamine and cocaine on the dopamine transporter and lend direct support to the view that amphetamine acts as a dopamine releaser, whereas cocaine acts by blocking dopamine transport.
Silvia, CP; Jaber, M; King, GR; Ellinwood, EH; Caron, MG
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