D1R/GluN1 complexes in the striatum integrate dopamine and glutamate signalling to control synaptic plasticity and cocaine-induced responses.

E Cahill, V Pascoli, P Trifilieff, D Savoldi, V Kappès, C Lüscher, J Caboche, P Vanhoutte
Mol Psychiatry. 2014-07-29; 19(12): 1295-1304
DOI: 10.1038/mp.2014.73

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Convergent dopamine and glutamate signalling onto the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway in medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the striatum controls psychostimulant-initiated adaptive processes underlying long-lasting behavioural changes. We hypothesised that the physical proximity of dopamine D1 (D1R) and glutamate NMDA (NMDAR) receptors, achieved through theformation of D1R/NMDAR complexes, may act as a molecular bridge that controls the synergistic action of dopamine and glutamate on striatal plasticity and behavioural responses to drugs of abuse. We found that concomitant stimulation of D1R and NMDAR drove complex formation between endogenous D1R and the GluN1 subunit of NMDAR. Conversely, preventing D1R/GluN1 association with a cell-permeable peptide (TAT-GluN1C1) left individual D1R and NMDAR-dependent signalling intact, but prevented D1R-mediated facilitation of NMDAR-calcium influx and subsequent ERK activation. Electrophysiological recordings in striatal slices from mice revealed that D1R/GluN1 complexes control the D1R-dependent enhancement of NMDAR currents and long-term potentiation in D1R-MSN. Finally, intra-striatal delivery of TAT-GluN1C1 did not affect acute responses to cocaine  but reduced behavioural sensitization. Our findings uncover D1R/GluN1 complexes as a major substrate for the dopamine-glutamate interaction in MSN that is usurped by addictive drugs to elicit persistent behavioural alterations. They also identify D1R/GluN1 complexes as molecular targets with a therapeutic potential for the vast spectrum of psychiatric diseases associated with an imbalance between dopamine and glutamate transmission.


Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus