The actions of dopamine D1 family receptors (D1R) depend upon a signal transduction cascade that modulates the phosphorylation state of important effector proteins, such as glutamate receptors and ion channels. This is accomplished both through activation of protein kinase A (PKA) and the inhibition of protein phosphatase-1 (PP1). Inhibition of PP1 occurs through PKA-mediated phosphorylation of dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein 32 kDa (DARPP-32) or the related protein inhibitor-1 (I-1), and the availability of DARPP-32 is essential to the functional outcome of D1R activation in the basal ganglia. While D1R activation is critical for prefrontal cortex (PFC) function, especially working memory, the functional role played by DARPP-32 or I-1 is less clear. In order to examine this more thoroughly, we have utilized immunoelectron microscopy to quantitatively determine the localization of DARPP-32 and I-1 in the neuropil of the rhesus monkey PFC. Both were distributed widely in the different components of the neuropil, but were enriched in dendritic shafts. I-1 label was more frequently identified in axon terminals than was DARPP-32, and DARPP-32 label was more frequently identified in glia than was I-1. We also quantified the extent to which these proteins were found in dendritic spines. DARPP-32 and I-1 were present in small subpopulations of dendritic spines, (4.4% and 7.7% and respectively), which were substantially smaller than observed for D1R in our previous studies (20%). Double-label experiments did not find evidence for colocalization of D1R and DARPP-32 or I-1 in spines or terminals. Thus, at the least, not all prefrontal spines which contain D1R also contain I-1 or DARPP-32, suggesting important differences in D1R signaling in the PFC compared to the striatum.
(c) 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.