Gγ7 is enriched in striatum and forms a heterotrimeric complex with Gαolf /Gβ, which is coupled to D1 receptor (D1R). Here, we attempted to characterize the pathophysiological, neurochemical, and pharmacological features of mice deficient of Gγ7 gene. Gγ7 knockout mice exhibited age-dependent deficiency in rotarod behavior and increased dystonia-like clasping reflex without loss of striatal neurons. The neurochemical basis for the motor manifestations using immunoblot analysis revealed increased levels of D1R, ChAT and NMDA receptor subunits (NR1 and NR2B) concurrent with decreased levels of D2R and Gαolf , possibly because of the secondary changes of decreased Gαolf /Gγ7-mediated D1R transmission. These behavioral and neurochemical changes are closely related to those observed in Huntington's disease (HD) human subjects and HD model mice. Taking advantage of the finding of D2R down-regulation in Gγ7 knockout mice and the dopamine-mediated synergistic relationship in the control of locomotion between D2R-striatopallidal and D1R-stritonigral neurons, we hypothesized that D2-agonist pramipexole would reverse behavioral dyskinesia caused by defective D1R/Gαolf signaling. Indeed, the rotarod deficiency and clasping reflex were reversed by pramipexole treatment under chronic administration. These findings suggest that Gγ7 knockout mice could be a new type of movement disorders, including HD and useful for the evaluation of therapeutic candidates.
© 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.