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Papers of the Week

2020 09 25

Neurosci Lett


Modulation of intracellular calcium concentration by D2-like DA receptor agonists in non-peptidergic DRG neurons is mediated mainly by D4 receptor activation.


Segura-Chama P, Luis E, Almanza A, Pellicer F, Hernández-Cruz A, Mercado F
Neurosci Lett. 2020 09 25; 736:135267.
PMID: 32717335.


Nociceptive stimuli attributes are codified in the periphery; at this level, D2-like dopamine (DA) receptor activation decreases the high voltage-gated Ca current predominantly in mechanonociceptive neurons, which explains the presynaptic action mechanism of the antinociception produced by quinpirole when it is intrathecally administered in rats. However, the identity of D2-like DA receptor subtype that mediates this effect remains unknown. To answer this question, we used Fluo-4-based Ca microfluorometry to study the depolarization-elicited [Ca] increase in small non-peptidergic DRG neurons (identified by its binding to the Isolectin B), and to test the effect of D2-like DA receptor activation by quinpirole in presence of selective antagonists for D2, D3, and D4 DA receptors. The results showed a significantly greater contribution of the D4 DA receptor in the down-modulation of depolarization-elicited [Ca] increase in small non-peptidergic DRG neurons compared to the other receptors. Although the D2 and D3 receptor antagonists also slightly inhibited the effect of quinpirole, their effects were significantly weaker than those of the D4 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, we showed that quinpirole selectively inhibits the Ca2.2 Ca channels. Our results suggest that the activation of the D4 DA receptors is a promising strategy for pain management at the spinal cord level.