Receptor heteromerization in adenosine A2A receptor signaling: relevance for striatal function and Parkinson's disease

Neurology. 2003 Dec 9;61(11 Suppl 6):S19-23. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000095206.44418.5c.


Recently evidence has been presented that adenosine A2A and dopamine D2 receptors form functional heteromeric receptor complexes as demonstrated in human neuroblastoma cells and mouse fibroblast Ltk- cells. These A2A/D2 heteromeric receptor complexes undergo coaggregation, cointernalization, and codesensitization on D2 or A2A receptor agonist treatments and especially after combined agonist treatment. It is hypothesized that the A2A/D2 receptor heteromer represents the molecular basis for the antagonistic A2A/D2 receptor interactions demonstrated at the biochemical and behavioral levels. Functional heteromeric complexes between A2A and metabotropic glutamate 5 receptors (mGluR5) have also recently been demonstrated in HEK-293 cells and rat striatal membrane preparations. The A2A/mGluR5 receptor heteromer may account for the synergism found after combined agonist treatments demonstrated in different in vitro and in vivo models. D2, A2A, and mGluR5 receptors are found together in the dendritic spines of the striatopallidal GABA neurons. Therefore, possible D2/A2A/mGluR5 multimeric receptor complexes and the receptor interactions within them may have a major role in controlling the dorsal and ventral striatopallidal GABA neurons involved in Parkinson's disease and in schizophrenia and drug addiction, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism*
  • Dimerization
  • Humans
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Mice
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • GRM5 protein, human
  • Grm5 protein, mouse
  • Grm5 protein, rat
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid