About this item:

574 Views | 159 Downloads

Author Notes:

Correspondence: Shawn Hochman; Email: shochm2@emory.edu

Acknowledgments: We thank Dr. Dapeng Cui and the labs of Drs. Gary Miller (Minzhen Wang) and Doug Eaton (Otor Al-Khalili) for assistance with real-time PCR.


Research Funding:

This project was supported by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Grant NS045248.


  • Monoamines
  • catecholamines
  • D1-like
  • D2-like
  • mouse
  • ISH

Expression and distribution of all dopamine receptor subtypes (D1 - D5) in the mouse lumbar spinal cord: A real-time PCR and non-autoradiographic in situ hybridization study


Journal Title:



Volume 149, Number 4


, Pages 885-897

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Dopamine is a catecholaminergic neuromodulatory transmitter that acts through five molecularly-distinct G protein-coupled receptor subtypes (D1 – D5). In the mammalian spinal cord, dopaminergic axon collaterals arise predominantly from the A11 region of the dorsoposterior hypothalamus and project diffusely throughout the spinal neuraxis. Dopaminergic modulatory actions are implicated in sensory, motor and autonomic functions in the spinal cord but the expression properties of the different dopamine receptors in the spinal cord remain incomplete. Here we determined the presence and the regional distribution of all dopamine receptor subtypes in mouse spinal cord cells by means of quantitative real time PCR and digoxigenin-label in situ hybridization. Real-time PCR demonstrated that all dopamine receptors are expressed in the spinal cord with strongly dominant D2 receptor expression, including in motoneurons and in the sensory encoding superficial dorsal horn (SDH). Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM) corroborated the predominance of D2 receptor expression in SDH and motoneurons. In situ hybridization of lumbar cord revealed that expression for all dopamine receptors was largely in the gray matter, including motoneurons, and distributed diffusely in labeled cell subpopulations in most or all laminae. The highest incidence of cellular labeling was observed for D2 and D5 receptors, while the incidence of D1 and D3 receptor expression was least. We conclude that the expression and extensive postsynaptic distribution of all known dopamine receptors in spinal cord corresponds well with the broad descending dopaminergic projection territory supporting an widespread dopaminergic control over spinal neuronal systems. The dominant expression of D2 receptors suggests a leading role for these receptors in dopaminergic actions on postsynaptic spinal neurons.

Copyright information:

© 2007 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Creative Commons License

Export to EndNote