Faculté des sciences

Silencing dopamine D3-receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell in vivo induces changes in cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion

Bahi, Amine ; Boyer, Frederic ; Bussard, Gaelle ; Dreyer, Jean-Luc

In: European Journal of Neuroscience, 2005, vol. 21(12), p. 3415

The dopamine D₃ receptor (D₃R) is an important pharmacotherapeutic target for its potential role in psychiatric disorders and drug dependence. To further explore its function in rats, a regulatable lentivirus, Lenti-D3, holding the rat D₃R cDNA, has been constructed as well as three nonregulatable lentiviruses, Lenti-D3-siRNA1, Lenti-D3-siRNA2 and Lenti-D3-siRNA3, expressing small hairpin... Plus

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    Summary
    The dopamine D₃ receptor (D₃R) is an important pharmacotherapeutic target for its potential role in psychiatric disorders and drug dependence. To further explore its function in rats, a regulatable lentivirus, Lenti-D3, holding the rat D₃R cDNA, has been constructed as well as three nonregulatable lentiviruses, Lenti-D3-siRNA1, Lenti-D3-siRNA2 and Lenti-D3-siRNA3, expressing small hairpin RNAs, aimed at silencing D₃R expression and specifically targeted against different regions of the D₃R mRNA. In vitro, Lenti-D3 expressed D₃R and could efficiently be blocked with Lenti-D3-Sils. These viruses were stereotaxically injected into the shell part of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and effects of passive cocaine delivery on locomotor activity were assessed. Manipulations of D₃R levels induced changes in the locomotor stimulant effects of cocaine as compared to control treatment. Suppression of dopamine (DA) D₃R in the NAcc by means of local knockdown (with Lenti-D3-Sils) increased locomotor stimulant effects, whereas its overexpression with Lenti-D3 drastically reduced them. The latter effects could be reversed when animals were fed doxycycline, which prevented lentiviral-mediated DA D₃R overexpression in the NAcc. Gene expression assessed by quantitative RT-PCR confirmed very efficient gene knockdown in vivo in animals treated with Lenti-D3-Sils (> 93% silencing of D₃R gene). Thus D₃R expression significantly contributes to behavioural changes associated with chronic cocaine delivery.