Dopamine auto- and postsynaptic receptors: electrophysiological evidence for differential sensitivity to dopamine agonists

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Science  05 Oct 1979:
Vol. 206, Issue 4414, pp. 80-82
DOI: 10.1126/science.482929


The responses of dopamine cells in the substantia nigra to iontophoretically administered dopamine and intravenous apomorphine were compared to the responses of spontaneously active neurons in the caudate nucleus. Dopaminergic cells were six to ten times more sensitive to dopamine and intravenous apomorphine than 86 percent of the caudate cells tested. This differential sensitivity of dopamine auto- and postsynaptic receptors may explain the apparently paradoxical behavioral effects induced by small compared to large doses of some dopamine agonists and may provide a means of developing new types of drugs to antagonize dopaminergic influence in the central nervous system.

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