Mice lacking the norepinephrine transporter are supersensitive to psychostimulants.
The action of norepinephrine (NE) is terminated, in part, by its uptake into presynaptic noradrenergic neurons by the plasma-membrane NE transporter (NET), which is a target for antidepressants and psychostimulants. Disruption of the NET gene in mice prolonged the clearance of NE and elevated extracellular levels of this catecholamine. In a classical test for antidepressant drugs, the NET-deficient (NET-/-) animals behaved like antidepressant-treated wild-type mice. Mutants were hyper-responsive to locomotor stimulation by cocaine or amphetamine. These responses were accompanied by dopamine D2/D3 receptor supersensitivity. Thus altering NET expression significantly modulates midbrain dopaminergic function, an effect that may be an important component of the actions of antidepressants and psychostimulants.
Xu, F; Gainetdinov, RR; Wetsel, WC; Jones, SR; Bohn, LM; Miller, GW; Wang, YM; Caron, MG
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