Dizocilpine (MK-801) induces distinct changes of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor subunits in parvalbumin-containing interneurons in young adult rat prefrontal cortex

Dong Xi, Wentong Zhang, Huai Xing Wang, George G. Stradtman, Wen Jun Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) hypofunction has long been implicated in schizophrenia and NMDARs on AZA-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons are proposed to play an essential role in the pathogenesis. However, controversial results have been reported regarding the regulation of NMDAR expression, and direct evidence of how NMDAR antagonists act on specific subpopulations of prefrontal interneurons is missing. We investigated the effects of the NMDAR antagonist dizocilpine (MK-801) on the expression of NMDAR subtypes in the identified interneurons in young adult rat prefrontal cortex (PFC) by using laser microdissection and real-time polymerase chain reaction, combined with Western blotting and immunofluorescent staining. We found that MK-801 induced distinct changes of NMDAR subunits in the parvalbumin- immunoreactive (PV-ir) interneurons vs. pyramidal neurons in the PFC circuitry. The messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of all NMDAR subtypes, including NR1 and NR2A to 2D, exhibited inverted-U dose-dependent changes in response to MK-801 treatment in the PFC. In contrast, subunit mRNAs of NMDARs in PV-ir interneurons were significantly down-regulated at low doses, unaltered at medium doses, and significantly decreased again at high doses, suggesting a biphasic dose response to MK-801. The differential effects of MK-801 in mRNA expression of NMDAR subunits were consistent with the protein expression of NR2A and NR2B subunits revealed with Western blotting and double immunofluorescent staining. These results suggest that PV-containing interneurons in the PFC exhibit a distinct responsiveness to NMDAR antagonism and that NMDA antagonist can differentially and dose-dependently regulate the functions of pyramidal neurons and GABAergic interneurons in the prefrontal cortical circuitry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1395-1408
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Disinhibition
  • NMDA antagonist
  • laser microdissection
  • neurotoxicity
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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