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      Novel Antischizophrenia Treatments 

      The Role of Dopamine D3 Receptors in Antipsychotic Activity and Cognitive Functions

      Springer Berlin Heidelberg

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          Putting a spin on the dorsal-ventral divide of the striatum.

          Since its conception three decades ago, the idea that the striatum consists of a dorsal sensorimotor part and a ventral portion processing limbic information has sparked a quest for functional correlates and anatomical characteristics of the striatal divisions. But this classic dorsal-ventral distinction might not offer the best view of striatal function. Anatomy and neurophysiology show that the two striatal areas have the same basic structure and that sharp boundaries are absent. Behaviorally, a distinction between dorsolateral and ventromedial seems most valid, in accordance with a mediolateral functional zonation imposed on the striatum by its excitatory cortical, thalamic and amygdaloid inputs. Therefore, this review presents a synthesis between the dorsal-ventral distinction and the more mediolateral-oriented functional striatal gradient.
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            Behavioral dopamine signals.

            Lesioning and psychopharmacological studies suggest a wide range of behavioral functions for ascending midbrain dopaminergic systems. However, electrophysiological and neurochemical studies during specific behavioral tasks demonstrate a more restricted spectrum of dopamine-mediated changes. Substantial increases in dopamine-mediated activity, as measured by electrophysiology or voltammetry, are related to rewards and reward-predicting stimuli. A somewhat slower, distinct electrophysiological response encodes the uncertainty associated with rewards. Aversive events produce different, mostly slower, electrophysiological dopamine responses that consist predominantly of depressions. Additionally, more modest dopamine concentration fluctuations, related to punishment and movement, are seen at 200-18,000 times longer time courses using voltammetry and microdialysis in vivo. Using these responses, dopamine neurotransmission provides differential and heterogeneous information to subcortical and cortical brain structures about essential outcome components for approach behavior, learning and economic decision-making.
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              Structure of the human dopamine D3 receptor in complex with a D2/D3 selective antagonist.

              Dopamine modulates movement, cognition, and emotion through activation of dopamine G protein-coupled receptors in the brain. The crystal structure of the human dopamine D3 receptor (D3R) in complex with the small molecule D2R/D3R-specific antagonist eticlopride reveals important features of the ligand binding pocket and extracellular loops. On the intracellular side of the receptor, a locked conformation of the ionic lock and two distinctly different conformations of intracellular loop 2 are observed. Docking of R-22, a D3R-selective antagonist, reveals an extracellular extension of the eticlopride binding site that comprises a second binding pocket for the aryl amide of R-22, which differs between the highly homologous D2R and D3R. This difference provides direction to the design of D3R-selective agents for treating drug abuse and other neuropsychiatric indications.

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                July 26 2012
                : 167-210


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