Dopamine Autoreceptor Regulation of a Hypothalamic Dopaminergic Network

Stefanos Stagkourakis, Hoseok Kim, David J. Lyons, Christian Broberger

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25 Citations (Scopus)
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How autoreceptors contribute to maintaining a stable output of rhythmically active neuronal circuits is poorly understood. Here, we examine this issue in a dopamine population, spontaneously oscillating hypothalamic rat (TIDA) neurons, that underlie neuroendocrine control of reproduction and neuroleptic side effects. Activation of dopamine receptors of the type 2 family (D2Rs) at the cell-body level slowed TIDA oscillations through two mechanisms. First, they prolonged the depolarizing phase through a combination of presynaptic increases in inhibition and postsynaptic hyperpolarization. Second, they extended the discharge phase through presynaptic attenuation of calcium currents and decreased synaptic inhibition. Dopamine reuptake blockade similarly reconfigured the oscillation, indicating that ambient somatodendritic transmitter concentration determines electrical behavior. In the absence of D2R feedback, however, discharge was abolished by depolarization block. These results indicate the existence of an ultra-short feedback loop whereby neuroendocrine dopamine neurons tune network behavior to echoes of their own activity, reflected in ambient somatodendritic dopamine, and also suggest a mechanism for antipsychoticside effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-747
Number of pages13
JournalCell Reports
Issue number4
Early online date14 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

The authors thank Drs. Gilberto Fisone, Jessica Ausborn, Abdel El Manira, Gilad Silberberg, and members of the C.B. laboratory for advice, as well as Paul Williams for expert help with the graphical abstract. This study was supported by a Starting Investigator Grant from the ERC (ENDOSWITCH 261286), the Swedish Research Council (2010-3250), Novo Nordisk Fonden, and the Strategic Research Programme in Diabetes at Karolinska Institutet.


  • network oscillation
  • D2 receptor
  • arcuate nucleus
  • tuberoinfundibular
  • auto-inhibition
  • calcium currents
  • prolactin


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