Role of a 35 kDa fos-related antigen (FRA) in the long-term induction of striatal dynorphin expression in the 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rat

D. M. Bronstein, H. Ye, K. R. Pennypacker, P. M. Hudson, J. S. Hong

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45 Scopus citations


D1 dopamine (DA) receptor agonists induce the expression of the opioid peptide dynorphin (DYN) in the striatum, an effect accentuated several fold by removing the dopaminergic innervation to the striatum (e.g., by lesioning the DA cell bodies in the substantia nigra [SN]). D1 receptor-mediated effects are thought to involve cAMP and/or phosphoinositides as second messengers. However, it is unclear what third messengers are involved in the regulation of DYN expression. The present experiments evaluated the possible role of two families of immediate-early gene (IEG) proteins, Fos and Jun, in the induction of DYN biosynthesis following repeated treatment with DA agonists. In addition, the role of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in modulating DA-induced changes in DYN and IEG protein expression was assessed. Adult male rats received unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) or sham lesions of the SN. Following a recovery period, animals were injected twice daily with the DA agonist, apomorphine (APO; 5 mg/kg), for 4 or 7 days. As expected, APO induced DYN biosynthesis, at both the peptide and mRNA level, several fold more in the striatum ipsilateral to the 6-OHDA lesion than in the contralateral control side (or a sham lesioned striatum). These effects appeared to be mediated by D1 receptors since the D1 agonist, SKF 38393 (5 mg/kg), caused the same changes in DYN expression as APO whereas a D2 agonist, quinpirole (1 mg/kg), had no effect. Paralleling the increase in DYN expression, APO also induced the expression of c-Fos and Fos-related antigens (FRA's), in particular a 35 kDa FRA, but had no effect on the expression of various Jun-related IEG proteins (i.e., c-Jun, Jun B, Jun D). Consistent with the notion that Fos and FRA proteins alter transcriptional activity by binding to AP-1 (or AP-1-like) DNA sequences in the promoter regions of target genes, we found that repeated APO treatment caused large increases in AP-1 binding activity in striata ipsilateral to 6-OHDA lesions. These data indicate that repeated activation of D1 receptors increases both the expression of a 35 kDa FRA and AP-1 binding, events which may mediate the large increases in DYN expression in the DA denervated striatum. While co-administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801, inhibited APO-induced increases in DYN and Fos/FRA expression in the intact striatum, its only effect in the DA-denervated striatum was a partial (35%) inhibition of the APO-induced increase in DYN-ir concentrations. While NMDA and D1 receptors may interact in regulating DYN expression in the intact striatum, our data suggest that this is not the case in the 6-OHDA lesioned animal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1994


  • Dopamine receptor
  • Gene regulation
  • Immediate-early gene
  • MK-801
  • NMDA receptor
  • Opioid peptide
  • Striatum
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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