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Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism

De novo expression of dopamine D2 receptors on microglia after stroke.


PMID 26104289

Abstract

Dopamine is the predominant catecholamine in the brain and functions as a neurotransmitter. Dopamine is also a potent immune modulator. In this study, we have characterized the expression of dopamine receptors on murine microglia. We found that cultured primary microglia express dopamine D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5 receptors. We specifically focused on the D2 receptor (D2R), a major target of antipsychotic drugs. Whereas D2Rs were strongly expressed on striatal neurons in vivo, we did not detect any D2R expression on resident microglia in the healthy brains of wild-type mice or transgenic mice expressing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of the Drd2 promoter. However, cerebral ischemia induced the expression of D2R on Iba1-immunoreactive inflammatory cells in the infarct core and penumbra. Notably, D2R expression was confined to CD45(hi) cells, and GFP BM chimeras revealed that D2R was expressed on activated resident microglia as well as on peripherally derived macrophages in the ischemic brain. Importantly, the D2/3R agonist, pramipexole, enhanced the secretion of nitrite by cultured microglia in response to proinflammatory stimuli. Thus, dopamine may serve as a modulator of microglia function during neuroinflammation.