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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Dopamine receptor 3 might be an essential molecule in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced neurotoxicity

Yan Chen1, Ying-yin Ni1, Jie Liu5, Jia-wei Lu6, Fang Wang1, Xiao-lin Wu1, Ming-min Gu1, Zhen-yu Lu1, Zhu-gang Wang134* and Zhi-hua Ren2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Genetics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China

2 Biopharmaceutical R&D Center, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Suzhou 215126, China

3 Research Centre for Experimental Medicine, Rui-Jin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China

4 Shanghai Research Centre for Model Organisms, Shanghai 201210, China

5 Shanghai Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedics, Rui-Jin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China

6 Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences & Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China

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BMC Neuroscience 2013, 14:76  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-14-76

Published: 31 July 2013

Abstract

Background

1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) induces Parkinson’s disease (PD)-like neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) via its oxidized product, 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), which is transported by the dopamine (DA) transporter into DA nerve terminals. DA receptor subtype 3 (D3 receptor) participates in neurotransmitter transport, gene regulation in the DA system, physiological accommodation via G protein-coupled superfamily receptors and other physiological processes in the nervous system. This study investigated the possible correlation between D3 receptors and MPTP-induced neurotoxicity. A series of behavioral experiments and histological analyses were conducted in D3 receptor-deficient mice, using an MPTP-induced model of PD.

Results

After the fourth MPTP injection, wild-type animals that received 15 mg/kg per day displayed significant neurotoxin-related bradykinesia. D3 receptor-deficient mice displayed attenuated MPTP-induced locomotor activity changes. Consistent with the behavioral observations, further neurohistological assessment showed that MPTP-induced neuronal damage in the SNpc was reduced in D3 receptor-deficient mice.

Conclusions

Our study indicates that the D3 receptor might be an essential molecule in MPTP-induced PD and provides a new molecular mechanism for MPTP neurotoxicity.

Keywords:
Dopamine receptor 3; 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced neurotoxicity; Parkinson’s disease