Dopaminergic regulation of striatonigral tachykinin and dynorphin gene expression: A study with the dopamine uptake inhibitor GBR-12909

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


The present study examined the modulatory role of dopamine (DA) on striatonigral preprotachykinin (PPT) and prodynorphin (PD) gene expression, employing the DA uptake inhibitor, GBR-12909 (GBR), as a tool. The striatal and nigral levels of tachykinin (substance P (SP), neurokinin A (NKA)) and dynorphin (dynorphin A(1-8) (DYN)) peptides were determined by radioimmunoassays. The abundance of mRNAs in the striatum was quantified by Northern blot analysis. The rate of transcription of PPT and PD genes in the striatum was measured by transcription run-on assays. A regimen of repeated administration of GBR (20 mg/kg/day, i.p., for 1-4 days) to female Sprague-Dawley rats increased striatal and nigral SP, NKA, and DYN peptide levels. The increased peptide levels were associated with increases in the abundance of PD mRNA and PPT mRNA and increases in the rate of transcription of PD and PPT genes in the striatum, suggesting a GBR-induced activation of the striatonigral tachykinin and dynorphin neurons. Dopaminergic denervation with 6-hydroxydopamine (60HDA) blocked the GBR-induced increases in SP and DYN and PPT and PD mRNAs. The concurrent administration of the D1 DA antagonist, SCH-23390, blocked the GBR-induced increases in SP, NKA and PPT mRNA but failed to affect DYN or PD mRNA levels; the concurrent administration of the D2 DA antagonist, spiperone, blocked the GBR-induced increases in SP, NKA and PPT mRNA and also DYN and PD mRNA. The study reveals that repeated administration of GBR enhances the levels of tachykinin and dynorphin peptides in striatonigral neurons by a stimulus-transcription-biosynthesis coupling mechanism. The GBR-induced effects are dependent on the integrity of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons and the presence of D1 and/or D2 DA receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-210
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1996



  • 6-hydroxydopamine
  • Cyclophilin
  • Dopamine
  • Dynorphin A(1-8)
  • GBR-12909
  • Neurokinin A
  • Preprotachykinin
  • Prodynorphin
  • Substance P

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this