Dysbindin-1A modulation of astrocytic dopamine and basal ganglia dependent behaviors relevant to schizophrenia

Mol Psychiatry. 2022 Oct;27(10):4201-4217. doi: 10.1038/s41380-022-01683-8. Epub 2022 Jul 11.


The mechanisms underlying the dichotomic cortical/basal ganglia dopaminergic abnormalities in schizophrenia are unclear. Astrocytes are important non-neuronal modulators of brain circuits, but their role in dopaminergic system remains poorly explored. Microarray analyses, immunohistochemistry, and two-photon laser scanning microscopy revealed that Dys1 hypofunction increases the reactivity of astrocytes, which express only the Dys1A isoform. Notably, behavioral and electrochemical assessments in mice selectively lacking the Dys1A isoform unraveled a more prominent impact of Dys1A in behavioral and dopaminergic/D2 alterations related to basal ganglia, but not cortical functioning. Ex vivo electron microscopy and protein expression analyses indicated that selective Dys1A disruption might alter intracellular trafficking in astrocytes, but not in neurons. In agreement, Dys1A disruption only in astrocytes resulted in decreased motivation and sensorimotor gating deficits, increased astrocytic dopamine D2 receptors and decreased dopaminergic tone within basal ganglia. These processes might have clinical relevance because the caudate, but not the cortex, of patients with schizophrenia shows a reduction of the Dys1A isoform. Therefore, we started to show a hitherto unknown role for the Dys1A isoform in astrocytic-related modulation of basal ganglia behavioral and dopaminergic phenotypes, with relevance to schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Basal Ganglia / metabolism
  • Dopamine* / metabolism
  • Dysbindin* / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Schizophrenia* / genetics


  • Dopamine
  • Dysbindin
  • Dtnbp1 protein, mouse