Brain structure & function

Anatomical and molecular characterization of dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons of the mouse CA1 dorsal hippocampus.

PMID 27678395


In the hippocampus, a functional role of dopamine D1 receptors (D1R) in synaptic plasticity and memory processes has been suggested by electrophysiological and pharmacological studies. However, comprehension of their function remains elusive due to the lack of knowledge on the precise localization of D1R expression among the diversity of interneuron populations. Using BAC transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein under the control of D1R promoter, we examined the molecular identity of D1R-containing neurons within the CA1 subfield of the dorsal hippocampus. In agreement with previous findings, our analysis revealed that these neurons are essentially GABAergic interneurons, which express several neurochemical markers, including calcium-binding proteins, neuropeptides, and receptors among others. Finally, by using different tools comprising cell type-specific isolation of mRNAs bound to tagged-ribosomes, we provide solid data indicating that D1R is present in a large proportion of interneurons expressing dopamine D2 receptors. Altogether, our study indicates that D1Rs are expressed by different classes of interneurons in all layers examined and not by pyramidal cells, suggesting that CA1 D1R mostly acts via modulation of GABAergic interneurons.