Characterization of D2 receptors and dopamine levels in the thalamus of the rat. Academic Article uri icon


  • We kinetically characterized D2 receptors in thalami pooled from a group of Sprague-Dawley rats and then determined thalamic levels of dopamine (DA), homovanillic acid (HVA), dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and norepinephrine (NE) in relation to a measure of thalamic DA D2 receptor densities in another group of rats. The equilibrium dissociation constant (kd) was estimated as 0.1 nM by three independent methods, while the Bmax for thalamic D2 receptors was found to be 6.4 fmol/mg p using 3H-spiperone as ligand and ketanserin to occlude 5HT2 binding. Kinetic constants were in agreement with previously reported kinetic data from rodent caudate-putamen. This suggests that thalamic D2 receptors are similar to D2 receptors from other brain areas. Mean thalamic levels of DA (22.6 ng/mg p), DOPAC (1.19 ng/mg p) and HVA (0.31 ng/mg p) concur with previous reports of a sparse distribution of thalamic DA neurons. D2 receptor densities were positively correlated with DA metabolites DOPAC (P less than .05; r = 0.423) and HVA (P less than .05; r = 0.368), but not DA or NE. These results establish fundamental characteristics of thalamic DA neurotransmission to assist in the investigation of behavioral pharmacology of this area.

published proceedings

  • Life Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Young, K. A., & Wilcox, R. E.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Young, KA||Wilcox, RE

publication date

  • January 1991