Publication Details

Zheng, P., Su, Q., Jin, D., Yu, Y. & Huang, X. (2020). Prevention of Neurite Spine Loss Induced by Dopamine D2 Receptor Overactivation in Striatal Neurons. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 14 642-1-642-12.


Psychosis has been considered a disorder of impaired neuronal connectivity. Evidence for excessive formation of dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) – disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) complexes has led to a new perspective on molecular mechanisms involved in psychotic symptoms. Here, we investigated how excessive D2R–DISC1 complex formation induced by D2R agonist quinpirole affects neurite growth and dendritic spines in striatal neurons. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), and cell penetrating-peptide delivery were used to study the cultured striatal neurons from mouse pups. Using these striatal neurons, our study showed that: (1) D2R interacted with DISC1 in dendritic spines, neurites and soma of cultured striatal neurons; (2) D2R and DISC1 complex accumulated in clusters in dendritic spines of striatal neurons and the number of the complex were reduced after application of TAT-D2pep; (3) uncoupling D2R–DISC1 complexes by TAT-D2pep protected neuronal morphology and dendritic spines; and (4) TAT-D2pep prevented neurite and dendritic spine loss, which was associated with restoration of expression levels of synaptophysin and PSD-95. In addition, we found that Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and GSK3β were involved in the protective effects of TAT-D2pep on the neurite spines of striatal spiny projection neurons. Thus, our results may offer a new strategy for precisely treating neurite spine deficits associated with schizophrenia.



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