Adenosine A2A-dopamine D2 receptor-receptor heteromers. Targets for neuro-psychiatric disorders

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2004 Jul;10(5):265-71. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2004.02.014.


Emerging evidence shows that G protein-coupled receptors can form homo- and heteromers. These include adenosine A(2A) receptor-dopamine D(2) receptor heteromers, which are most probably localized in the dendritic spines of the striatopallidal GABAergic neurons, where they are in a position to modulate glutamatergic neurotransmission. The discovery of A(2A) receptor-dopamine D(2) receptor heteromers gives a frame for the well-known antagonistic interaction between both receptors, which is the bases for a new therapeutic approach for neuro-psychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and schizoprenia. The present review deals mainly with the biochemical and molecular aspects of A(2A) receptor-dopamine D(2) receptor interactions. Recent results at the molecular level show that A(2A) receptor-dopamine D(2) receptor heteromers represent the first example of epitope-epitope electrostatic interaction underlying receptor heteromerization. Most probably A(2A) receptor-D(2) receptor heteromerization is not static, but subject to a dynamic regulation, related to the phosphorylation dependence of the A(2A) receptor epitope and to the ability of the D(2) receptor epitope to bind different partners. Finding out the mechanisms involved in this dynamic regulation can have important implications for the treatment of basal ganglia disorders, schizophrenia and drug addiction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Globus Pallidus / drug effects
  • Globus Pallidus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mental Disorders / metabolism*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A / chemistry
  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / chemistry
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / metabolism*


  • Receptor, Adenosine A2A
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2