Knockout of the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 gene results in neonatal death and supersensitivity to cocaine and amphetamine.

Journal Article

Vesicular monoamine transporters are known to transport monoamines from the cytoplasm into secretory vesicles. We have used homologous recombination to generate mutant mice lacking the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), the predominant form expressed in the brain. Newborn homozygotes die within a few days after birth, manifesting severely impaired monoamine storage and vesicular release. In heterozygous adult mice, extracellular striatal dopamine levels, as well as K+- and amphetamine-evoked dopamine release, are diminished. The observed changes in presynaptic homeostasis are accompanied by a pronounced supersensitivity of the mice to the locomotor effects of the dopamine agonist apomorphine, the psychostimulants cocaine and amphetamine, and ethanol. Importantly, VMAT2 heterozygous mice do not develop further sensitization to repeated cocaine administration. These observations stress the importance of VMAT2 in the maintenance of presynaptic function and suggest that these mice may provide an animal model for delineating the mechanisms of vesicular release, monoamine function, and postsynaptic sensitization associated with drug abuse.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wang, YM; Gainetdinov, RR; Fumagalli, F; Xu, F; Jones, SR; Bock, CB; Miller, GW; Wightman, RM; Caron, MG

Published Date

  • December 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1285 - 1296

PubMed ID

  • 9427251

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0896-6273

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States