Dopamine receptor mRNA expression in human striatum and neocortex

Academic Article


  • The distributions of the transcripts encoding the five dopamine receptors have been determined in the human striatum and selected regions of the neocortex. In the striatum significant levels of dopamine receptor expression are restricted to the D1, D2, and D3 receptors. D1 and D2 receptor messenger ribonucleic acids (mRNAs) are homogeneously distributed throughout the caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens. D3 receptor mRNA is particularly enriched in: the nucleus accumbens, with moderate levels in the ventral putamen. In the prefrontal cortex (D)1 and D4 receptor mRNAs are the most abundant, although the other three transcripts are seen at lower levels. A similar pattern is seen in the temporal neocortex. In the occipital cortex, D1 receptor mRNA is the most abundant, D3 the rarest, while the other three transcripts are present at modest levels of expression. These data add to a growing understanding of the neuroanatomical distribution of these transcripts in the human brain. They are essential to understand in the context of the limbic circuitry of the brain, as new hypotheses of dysfunction of dopaminergic neurotransmission are advanced in psychiatry and as these receptor subtypes are targeted for development of novel pharmacological treatments.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 22658931
  • Author List

  • Meador-Woodruff JH; Damask SP; Wang J; Haroutunian V; Davis KL; Watson SJ
  • Start Page

  • 17
  • End Page

  • 29
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 1