Receptor-receptor interactions within receptor mosaics. Impact on neuropsychopharmacology

Brain Res Rev. 2008 Aug;58(2):415-52. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2007.11.007. Epub 2008 Jan 28.


Future therapies for diseases associated with altered dopaminergic signaling, including Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and drug addiction or drug dependence may substantially build on the existence of intramembrane receptor-receptor interactions within dopamine receptor containing receptor mosaics (RM; dimeric or high-order receptor oligomers) where it is believed that the dopamine D(2) receptor may operate as the 'hub receptor' within these complexes. The constitutive adenosine A(2A)/dopamine D(2) RM, located in the dorsal striato-pallidal GABA neurons, are of particular interest in view of the demonstrated antagonistic A(2A)/D(2) interaction within these heteromers; an interaction that led to the suggestion and later demonstration that A(2A) antagonists could be used as novel anti-Parkinsonian drugs. Based on the likely existence of A(2A)/D(2)/mGluR5 RM located both extrasynaptically on striato-pallidal GABA neurons and on cortico-striatal glutamate terminals, multiple receptor-receptor interactions within this RM involving synergism between A(2A)/mGluR5 to counteract D(2) signaling, has led to the proposal of using combined mGluR5 and A(2A) antagonists as a future anti-Parkinsonian treatment. Based on the same RM in the ventral striato-pallidal GABA pathways, novel strategies for the treatment of schizophrenia, building on the idea that A(2A) agonists and/or mGluR5 agonists will help reduce the increased dopaminergic signaling associated with this disease, have been suggested. Such treatment may ensure the proper glutamatergic drive from the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus to the prefrontal cortex, one which is believed to be reduced in schizophrenia due to a dominance of D(2)-like signaling in the ventral striatum. Recently, A(2A) receptors also have been shown to counteract the locomotor and sensitizing actions of cocaine and increases in A(2A) receptors have also been observed in the nucleus accumbens after extended cocaine self-administration, probably representing a compensatory up-regulation to counteract the cocaine-induced increases in dopamine D(2) and D(3) signaling. Therefore, A(2A) agonists, through antagonizing D(2) and D(3) signaling within A(2A)/D(2) and A(2A)/D(3) RM heteromers in the nucleus accumbens, may be found useful as a treatment for cocaine dependence. Furthermore, antagonistic cannabinoid CB(1)/D(2) interactions requiring A(2A) receptors have also been discovered and possibly operate in CB(1)/D(2)/A(2A) RM located principally on striatal glutamate terminals but also on some ventral striato-pallidal GABA neurons, thereby opening up a new mechanism for the integration of endocannabinoid, DA and adenosine mediated signals. Thus, A(2A), mGluR5 and/or CB(1) receptors can form integrative units with D(2) receptors within RM displaying different compositions, topography and localization. Also galaninR/5-HT(1A) RM probably participates in the transmission of the ascending 5-hydroxytryptamine neurons, where galanin receptors antagonize 5-HT(1A) recognition and signaling. Subtype specific galanin receptor antagonists may therefore represent novel antidepressant drugs. These results suggest the importance of a complete understanding of the function of these RM with regard to disease. Ultimately receptor-receptor interactions within RM that modify dopaminergic and serotonergic signaling may give new strategies for treatment of a wide range of diseases associated with altered dopaminergic and serotonergic signaling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / drug effects
  • Cell Communication / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Psychopharmacology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / classification
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / drug effects
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*


  • Receptors, Cell Surface