The dopamine D1-D2 receptor heteromer exerts a tonic inhibitory effect on the expression of amphetamine-induced locomotor sensitization.Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2015 Jan; 128:33-40.PB
A role for the dopamine D1-D2 receptor heteromer in the regulation of reward and addiction-related processes has been previously implicated. In the present study, we examined the effects of D1-D2 heteromer stimulation by the agonist SKF 83959 and its disruption by a selective TAT-D1 peptide on amphetamine-induced locomotor sensitization, a behavioral model widely used to study the neuroadaptations associated with psychostimulant addiction. D1-D2 heteromer activation by SKF 83959 did not alter the acute locomotor effects of amphetamine but significantly inhibited amphetamine-induced locomotor responding across the 5day treatment regimen. In addition, a single injection of SKF 83959 was sufficient to abolish the expression of locomotor sensitization induced by a priming injection of amphetamine after a 72-hour withdrawal. Conversely, inhibition of D1-D2 heteromer activity by the TAT-D1 peptide enhanced subchronic amphetamine-induced locomotion and the expression of amphetamine locomotor sensitization. Treatment solely with the TAT-D1 disrupting peptide during the initial 5day treatment phase was sufficient to induce a sensitized locomotor phenotype in response to the priming injection of amphetamine. Together these findings demonstrate that the dopamine D1-D2 receptor heteromer exerts a tonic inhibitory control on neurobiological processes involved in sensitization to amphetamine, indicating that the dopamine D1-D2 receptor heteromer may be a novel molecular substrate in addiction processes involving psychostimulants.