Identification of dopamine D1-alpha receptor within rodent nucleus accumbens by an innovative RNA in situ detection technology

Hailong Li, Jessica M. Illenberger, Kristen A. McLaurin, Charles F. Mactutus, Rosemarie M. Booze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In the central nervous system, the D1-alpha subtype receptor (Drd1α) is the most abundant dopamine (DA) receptor, which plays a vital role in regulating neuronal growth and development. However, the mechanisms underlying Drd1α receptor abnormalities mediating behavioral responses and modulating working memory function are still unclear. Using a novel RNA in situ hybridization assay, the current study identified dopamine Drd1α receptor and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) RNA expression from DA-related circuitry in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) area and substantia nigra region (SNR), respectively. Drd1α expression in the NAc shows a "discrete dot" staining pattern. Clear sex differences in Drd1α expression were observed. In contrast, TH shows a "clustered" staining pattern. Regarding TH expression, female rats displayed a higher signal expression per cell relative to male animals. The methods presented here provide a novel in situ hybridization technique for investigating changes in dopamine system dysfunction during the progression of central nervous system diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere57444
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number133
StatePublished - Mar 15 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Journal of Visualized Experiments. All rights reserved.


  • Biological Sex
  • Dopamine D1-alpha receptor (Drd1α)
  • In situ
  • Neuroscience
  • RNA hybridization
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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