Abstract: The hypothesis that dopamine (DA) autoreceptors modulate the phosphorylation of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; EC 22.214.171.124) was investigated in rat striatal slices. Tissue was prelabeled with 32P inorganic phosphate, and TH recovered by immunoprecipitation with anti‐TH rabbit serum. The TH monomer was resolved on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gels, and the extent of phosphorylation was determined by scanning densitometry of autoradiographs. Depolarization of striatal slices with 55 mM K+ markedly increased the incorporation of 32P into several proteins, including the TH monomer (Mr= 60,000). A similar increase in TH phosphorylation occurred in response to the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin and the cyclic AMP analog dibutyryl cyclic AMP. An increase in TH phosphorylation was not observed in response to the D1‐selective agonist SKF 38393. The D2‐selective DA autoreceptor agonist pergolide decreased the phosphorylation of TH below basal levels and blocked the increase in phosphorylation elicited by 55 mM K+. The inhibitory effect of pergolide was antagonized by the D2‐selective antagonist eticlopride. Changes observed in the phosphorylation of TH were mirrored by changes in tyrosine hydroxylation in situ. These observations support the hypothesis that a reduction in TH phosphorylation is the mechanism by which DA autoreceptors modulate tyrosine hydroxylation in nigrostriatal nerve terminals.
Journal of Neurochemistry – Wiley
Published: May 1, 1989
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