The human D1A dopamine receptor gene promoter directs expression of a reporter gene to the central nervous system in transgenic mice.
Dopamine receptors are involved in many aspects of dopaminergic neurotransmission including regulation of motor control, cognition, affect and neuroendocrine function. The D1A receptor is the most widely distributed dopamine receptor in the brain and is expressed at high levels in the striatum and nucleus accumbens, but is also found throughout cortical, limbic, hypothalamic and thalamic brain regions. We have cloned a 6.4 kb fragment 5' of the human D1A dopamine receptor gene and shown that this region activates transcription of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene in a cell-specific manner. To study the expression of these sequences in vivo we analyzed the expression of the E. coli lac Z gene under the regulation of the 6.4 kb fragment in transgenic mice. Expression of the transgene was primarily detected in the brain, with only low levels detected in peripheral tissues. The 5' flanking sequences were able to direct the tissue-specific expression of lac Z in three different lines of transgenic mice, to a number of brain regions including the caudate-putamen, thalamus, amygdala, cerebral cortex, hippocampus and hypothalamus. Greatest expression of the lac Z gene was detected in areas of the thalamus and amygdaloid complex. In the striatum, beta-galactosidase activity was restricted to neurons within the matrix and was not detected within striosomes. Results of this study demonstrate that the 6.4 kb region upstream of the human D1A receptor gene is sufficient to confer tissue-specific expression in the CNS of transgenic mice. Furthermore, expression of the transgene to neurons within the matrix of the striatum, but not the striosomes suggests that expression of the D1A receptor may be regulated differently within these areas.
Severynse, DM; Colapietro, AM; Box, TL; Caron, MG
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