The receptors that couple to the G protein Gz in vivo are still relatively unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of various dopamine receptor agonists in a mouse deficient in the α subunit of Gz. The dopamine D1-like receptor agonist SKF38393 stimulated comparable locomotor activity in both wildtype mice and mice lacking Gαz. In contrast, the dopamine D2-like receptor agonist quinpirole suppressed locomotor activity in both groups of mice, but this suppression was significantly smaller in Gαz knockout mice. Consistent with these behavioural observations, quinpirole inhibition of dopamine release in the forebrain nucleus accumbens evoked by electrical stimulation of dopamine axons was significantly attenuated in mice lacking Gαz. In addition, hypothermia and adrenocorticotropic hormone release resulting from activation of dopamine D2-like receptors were also significantly reduced in Gαz knockout mice. However, adrenocorticotropic hormone secretion induced by corticotrophin releasing hormone and the serotonin 1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-dipropylamino-tetralin were similar between wildtype and Gαz knockout mice. Western blot analysis showed that the expression levels of Gαi, Gαo, Gαs, Gαq and Gβ were the same in the brains of mice of both genotypes. Overall, our data suggest that Gz proteins are functionally coupled to dopamine D2-like receptors in vivo.
- Gα knockout mouse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience