The effect of dopamine on adult hippocampal neurogenesis

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Apr 3:50:116-24. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2013.12.011. Epub 2013 Dec 26.


Cumulative studies indicated that adult hippocampal neurogenesis might be involved in the action mechanism of antidepressant drugs and/or the pathophysiology of depression. Dopamine (DA) is involved in the regulation of motivation, volition, interest/pleasure, and attention/concentration, all of which are likely to be impaired in depressed patients. Several previous reports suggest that depression may often be accompanied by a relative hypo-dopaminergic state, and some DA receptor agonists are beneficial effects in the treatment for refractory and bipolar depression. In the present study, to clarify the direct effect of DA on neural progenitor cells, we examined the effect of DA on the proliferation of adult rat dentate gyrus-derived neural precursor cells (ADPs). In addition, we examined the effect of DA receptor agonists on adult rat hippocampal neurogenesis in vivo. Results showed that DA promoted the increase of ADPs via D1-like receptor and D1-like receptor agonist promoted the survival of newborn cells in the adult hippocampus. On the contrary, D2-like receptor agonist did not affect both proliferation and survival. These results suggested that DA might play, at least in part, a role in adult hippocampal neurogenesis via D1-like receptor and the activation of D1-like receptor has a therapeutic potential for depression.

Keywords: Antidepressant drug; D1-like receptor; D2-like receptor; Progenitor cell; Stem cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dentate Gyrus / drug effects
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiology*
  • Dopamine / pharmacology
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Dopamine Agonists / pharmacology
  • Dopamine Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Dopamine D2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Male
  • Neurogenesis / drug effects
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / agonists
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / agonists
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / biosynthesis
  • Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Stem Cells / physiology


  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Dopamine D2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2
  • Dopamine