Paradoxical striatal cellular signaling responses to psychostimulants in hyperactive mice.
Recent investigations have shown that three major striatal-signaling pathways (protein kinase A/DARPP-32, Akt/glycogen synthase kinase 3, and ERK) are involved in the regulation of locomotor activity by the monoaminergic neurotransmitter dopamine. Here we used dopamine transporter knock-out mice to examine which particular changes in the regulation of these cell signaling mechanisms are associated with distinct behavioral responses to psychostimulants. In normal animals, amphetamine and methylphenidate increase extracellular levels of dopamine, leading to an enhancement of locomotor activity. However, in dopamine transporter knock-out mice that display a hyperactivity phenotype resulting from a persistent hyperdopaminergic state, these drugs antagonize hyperactivity. Under basal conditions, dopamine transporter knock-out mice show enhanced striatal DARPP-32 phosphorylation, activation of ERK, and inactivation of Akt as compared with wild-type littermates. However, administration of amphetamine or methylphenidate to these mice reveals that inhibition of ERK signaling is a common determinant for the ability of these drugs to antagonize hyperactivity. In contrast, psychostimulants activate ERK and induce hyperactivity in normal animals. In hyperactive mice psychostimulant-mediated behavioral inhibition and ERK regulation are also mimicked by the serotonergic drugs fluoxetine and 5-carboxamidotryptamine, thereby revealing the involvement of serotonin-dependent inhibition of striatal ERK signaling. Furthermore, direct inhibition of the ERK signaling cascade in vivo using the MEK inhibitor SL327 recapitulates the actions of psychostimulants in hyperactive mice and prevents the locomotor-enhancing effects of amphetamine in normal animals. These data suggest that the inhibitory action of psychostimulants on dopamine-dependent hyperactivity results from altered regulation of striatal ERK signaling. In addition, these results illustrate how altered homeostatic state of neurotransmission can influence in vivo signaling responses and biological actions of pharmacological agents used to manage psychiatric conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Beaulieu, J-M; Sotnikova, TD; Gainetdinov, RR; Caron, MG
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