Mice lacking dopamine D4 receptors are supersensitive to ethanol, cocaine, and methamphetamine

Marcelo Rubinstein, Tamara J. Phillips, James R. Bunzow, Tomás L. Falzone, Gustavo Dziewczapolski, Ge Zhang, Yuan Fang, Jennifer L. Larson, John A. McDougall, Julia A. Chester, Carmen Saez, Thomas A. Pugsley, Oscar Gershanik, Malcolm J. Low, David Grandy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

412 Scopus citations


The human dopamine D4 receptor (D4R) has received considerable attention because of its high affinity for the atypical antipsychotic clozapine and the unusually polymorphic nature of its gene. To clarity the in vive role of the D4R, we produced and analyzed mutant mice (D4R(-/-)) lacking this protein. Although less active in open field tests, D4R(-/-) mice outperformed wild- type mice on the rotarod and displayed locomotor supersensitivity to ethanol, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Biochemical analyses revealed that dopamine synthesis and its conversion to DOPAC were elevated in the dorsal striatum from D4R(-/-) mice. Based on these findings, we propose that the D4R modulates normal, coordinated and drug-stimulated motor behaviors as well as the activity of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-1001
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 19 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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