The dopamine (DA) D3 receptor (D3R) plays a pivotal role in the control of several functions, including motor activity, rewarding and motivating behavior and several aspects of cognitive functions. Recently, it has been reported that the D3R is also involved in the regulation of neuronal development, in promoting structural plasticity and in triggering key intracellular events with neuroprotective potential. A new role for D3R-dependent neurotransmission has thus been proposed both in preserving DA neuron homeostasis in physiological conditions and in preventing pathological alterations that may lead to neurodegeneration. Interestingly, there is evidence that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) located on DA neurons also provide neurotrophic support to DA neurons, an effect requiring functional D3R and suggesting the existence of a positive cross-talk between these receptor systems. Increasing evidence suggests that, as with the majority of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), the D3R directly interacts with other receptors to form new receptor heteromers with unique functional and pharmacological properties. Among them, we recently identified a receptor heteromer containing the nAChR and the D3R as the molecular effector of nicotine-mediated neurotrophic effects. This review summarizes the functional and pharmacological characteristics of D3R, including the capability to form active heteromers as pharmacological targets for specific neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, the molecular and functional features of the D3R-nAChR heteromer will be especially discussed since it may represent a possible key etiologic effector for DA-related pathologies, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), and a target for drug design.

Dopamine D3 receptor heteromerization: Implications for neuroplasticity and neuroprotection

Mutti V.;Fiorentini C.;Missale C.;Bono F.
2020-01-01

Abstract

The dopamine (DA) D3 receptor (D3R) plays a pivotal role in the control of several functions, including motor activity, rewarding and motivating behavior and several aspects of cognitive functions. Recently, it has been reported that the D3R is also involved in the regulation of neuronal development, in promoting structural plasticity and in triggering key intracellular events with neuroprotective potential. A new role for D3R-dependent neurotransmission has thus been proposed both in preserving DA neuron homeostasis in physiological conditions and in preventing pathological alterations that may lead to neurodegeneration. Interestingly, there is evidence that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) located on DA neurons also provide neurotrophic support to DA neurons, an effect requiring functional D3R and suggesting the existence of a positive cross-talk between these receptor systems. Increasing evidence suggests that, as with the majority of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), the D3R directly interacts with other receptors to form new receptor heteromers with unique functional and pharmacological properties. Among them, we recently identified a receptor heteromer containing the nAChR and the D3R as the molecular effector of nicotine-mediated neurotrophic effects. This review summarizes the functional and pharmacological characteristics of D3R, including the capability to form active heteromers as pharmacological targets for specific neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, the molecular and functional features of the D3R-nAChR heteromer will be especially discussed since it may represent a possible key etiologic effector for DA-related pathologies, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), and a target for drug design.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11379/537900
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