D1 dopamine receptor activation required for postsynaptic expression of D2 agonist effects

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Science  08 May 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4802, pp. 719-722
DOI: 10.1126/science.2953072


D1 and D2 dopamine receptors exert synergistic effects on the firing rates of basal ganglia neurons and on the expression of stereotyped behavior in rats. Moreover, the ability of D2 agonists to induce changes in basal ganglia single unit activity and spontaneous motor activity is dependent upon the presence of endogenous dopamine to stimulate D1 receptors; in rats treated with alpha-methyl-rho-tyrosine to reduce endogenous dopamine levels, the neurophysiological and behavioral effects of the D2 agonist quinpirole are significantly attenuated, while the effects of nonselective agonists like apomorphine, which stimulate both D1 and D2 receptors, or combinations of a D2 agonist and a D1 agonist are not attenuated. Thus, the previously held view that D2 receptors alone are responsible for evoking the changes in behavior and basal ganglia output induced by nonselective dopamine agonists and endogenous dopamine is not supported by these results, which indicate that these phenomena require concurrent stimulation of both dopamine receptor subtypes.

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