Effects of prodynorphin deletion on striatal dopamine in mice during normal aging and in response to MPTP

Xuan V. Nguyen, Mei Liu, Hyoung Chun Kim, Guoying Bing

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7 Scopus citations


Dynorphins, endogenous neuropeptides found in striatonigral neurons, have been observed to exhibit dopamine-inhibitory actions and under some circumstances possess intrinsic neurotoxic activity. To test the hypothesis that dynorphin suppression mitigates effects of aging on the striatal dopaminergic system, HPLC quantitation of dopamine and related amines was performed on striatal homogenates of wild-type (WT) mice and mice lacking the prodynorphin (Pdyn) gene at varying ages. Pdyn knockout (KO) mice at 10 and 20 months show significant elevations in striatal dopamine compared to 3-month mice. Differences in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity could not account for these findings, but phosphorylation of TH at Ser40, but not Ser31, was enhanced in aged Pdyn KO mice. Systemic administration of MPTP produced significant dopamine depletion in an age-dependent manner, but Pdyn deletion conferred no protection against MPTP-induced dopamine loss, arguing against a mechanism by which Pdyn deletion enhances dopaminergic neuron survival. The above findings demonstrate an age-dependent inhibitory effect of dynorphins on striatal dopamine synthesis via modulation of TH activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-238
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Randy Hunter for invaluable technical assistance and Stewart Surgener for implementation of the HPLC assays. This study was supported by an NIH grant NS044157 (to GYB) and a training fellowship grant MH65055 (to XVN).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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