Dopaminergic signaling and striatal neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease

Tie Shan Tang, Xi Chen, Jing Liu, Ilya Bezprozvanny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion in Huntingtin protein (Htt). PolyQ expansion in Httexp causes selective degeneration of striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in HD patients. Striatal MSN neurons receive glutamatergic input from the cortex and dopaminergic input from the substantia nigra. In previous studies with the yeast artificial chromosome (YAC128) transgenic HD mouse model, we established a connection between glutamate receptor activation, disturbed calcium (Ca2+) signaling, and apoptosis of HD MSNs (Tang et al., 2005). Here, we used the same YAC128 mouse model to investigate the role of dopaminergic signaling in HD. We discovered that glutamate and dopamine signaling pathways act synergistically to induce elevated Ca2+ signals and to cause apoptosis of YAC128 MSNs in vitro. We demonstrated that potentiating effects of dopamine are mediated by D1-class dopamine receptors (DARs) and not by D2-class DARs. Consistent with in vitro findings, in whole-animal experiments we found that persistent elevation of striatal dopamine levels exacerbated the behavioral motor deficits and MSN neurodegeneration in YAC128 mice. We further discovered that the clinically relevant dopamine pathway inhibitor tetrabenazine alleviated the motor deficits and reduced striatal cell loss in YAC128 mice. Our results suggest that dopamine signaling pathway plays an important role in HD pathogenesis and that antagonists of dopamine pathway such as tetrabenazine or dopamine receptor blockers may have a therapeutic potential for treatment of HD beyond well established "symptomatic" benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7899-7910
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume27
Issue number30
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 25 2007

Fingerprint

Corpus Striatum
Huntington Disease
Dopamine
Neurons
Tetrabenazine
Dopamine Antagonists
Dopamine D2 Receptors
Yeast Artificial Chromosomes
Apoptosis
Dopamine D1 Receptors
Calcium Signaling
Dopamine Receptors
Glutamate Receptors
Substantia Nigra
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Glutamic Acid
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Calcium signaling
  • Dopamine
  • Huntington's disease
  • Rotarod
  • Stereology
  • Tetrabenazine
  • Transgenic mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Dopaminergic signaling and striatal neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease. / Tang, Tie Shan; Chen, Xi; Liu, Jing; Bezprozvanny, Ilya.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 27, No. 30, 25.07.2007, p. 7899-7910.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tang, Tie Shan ; Chen, Xi ; Liu, Jing ; Bezprozvanny, Ilya. / Dopaminergic signaling and striatal neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 2007 ; Vol. 27, No. 30. pp. 7899-7910.
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