Role of dopamine D1-like receptors in methamphetamine locomotor responses of D2 receptor knockout mice

M. A. Kelly, M. J. Low, M. Rubinstein, T. J. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Behavioral sensitization to psychostimulants manifests as an increased locomotor response with repeated administration. Dopamine systems are accepted to play a fundamental role in sensitization, but the role of specific dopamine receptor subtypes has not been completely defined. This study used the combination of dopamine D2 receptor-deficient mice and a D1-like antagonist to examine dopamine D1 and D2 receptor involvement in acute and sensitized locomotor responses to methamphetamine. Absence of the dopamine D2 receptor resulted in attenuation of the acute stimulant effects of methamphetamine. Mutant and wild-type mice exhibited sensitization that lasted longer within the time period of the challenge test in the mutant animals. Pretreatment with the D1-like receptor antagonist SCH 23390 produced more potent reductions in the acute and sensitized locomotor responses to methamphetamine in D2 receptor-deficient mice than in wild-type mice; however, the expression of locomotor sensitization when challenged with methamphetamine alone was equivalently attenuated by previous treatment with SCH 23390. These data suggest that dopamine D2 receptors play a key role in the acute stimulant and sensitizing effects of methamphetamine and act in concert with D1-like receptors to influence the acquisition of methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization, traits that may influence continued methamphetamine use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-577
Number of pages10
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Dopamine receptors
  • Knockout
  • Locomotor activity
  • Neuroadaptation
  • Null mutant
  • Psychostimulant
  • Sensitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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