Schizophrenia-like dopamine release abnormalities in a mouse model of NMDA receptor hypofunction

Academic Article


  • Amphetamine-induced augmentation of striatal dopamine and its blunted release in prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a hallmark of schizophrenia pathophysiology. Although N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) hypofunction is also implicated in schizophrenia, it remains unclear whether NMDAR hypofunction leads to dopamine release abnormalities. We previously demonstrated schizophrenialike phenotypes in GABAergic neuron-specific NMDAR hypofunctional mutant mice, in which Ppp1r2-Cre dependent deletion of indispensable NMDAR channel subunit Grin1 is induced in corticolimbic GABAergic neurons including parvalbumin (PV)-positive neurons, in postnatal development, but not in adulthood. Here, we report enhanced dopaminomimetic-induced locomotor activity in these mutants, along with bidirectional, site-specific changes in in vivo amphetamine-induced dopamine release: nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine release was enhanced by amphetamine in postnatal Ppp1r2-Cre/Grin1 knockout (KO) mice, whereas dopamine release was dramatically reduced in the medial PFC (mPFC) compared to controls. Basal tissue dopamine levels in both the NAc and mPFC were unaffected. Interestingly, the magnitude and distribution of amphetamine-induced c-Fos expression in dopamine neurons was comparable between genotypes across dopaminergic input subregions in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). These effects appear to be both developmentally and cell-type specifically modulated, since PV-specific Grin1 KO mice could induce the same effects as seen in postnatal-onset Ppp1r2-Cre/Grin1 KO mice, but no such abnormalities were observed in somatostatinCre/Grin1 KO mice or adult-onset Ppp1r2-Cre/Grin1 KO mice. These results suggest that PV GABAergic neuronNMDAR hypofunction in postnatal development confers bidirectional NAc hyper- and mPFC hypo-sensitivity to amphetamine-induced dopamine release, similar to that classically observed in schizophrenia pathophysiology.
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    Author List

  • Nakao K; Jeevakumar V; Jiang SZ; Fujita Y; Diaz NB; Annan CAP; Jaunarajs KLE; Hashimoto K; Belforte JE; Nakazawa K
  • Start Page

  • 138
  • End Page

  • 147
  • Volume

  • 45
  • Issue

  • 1