Dopamine-receptor agonists: mechanisms underlying autoreceptor selectivity. I. Review of the evidence

J Neural Transm. 1985;62(1-2):1-52. doi: 10.1007/BF01260414.


The behavioural, biochemical, neuroendocrinological and electrophysiological actions of the enantiomers of the dopamine (DA) analogue 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-N-n-propylpiperidine, 3-PPP, are extensively reviewed. (+)-3-PPP acts in a fashion similar to classical direct-acting DA agonists, stimulating both DA autoreceptors and postsynaptic DA receptors, although in some situations the drug appears to exhibit partial agonist activity. (-)-3-PPP exerts a variety of actions in different pharmacological models. Either agonistic, antagonistic or both agonistic and antagonistic activity are observed depending on the anatomical location of the relevant DA receptors and the experimental conditions. The actions of transdihydrolisuride (TDHL) and the trans-fused 7-OH-1,2,3,4,4a,5,6,10b-octahydrobenzo(f)quinoline (HW 165) are also discussed. These agents possess a similar spectrum of action to (-)-3-PPP suggesting a new generation of DA agonists which exhibit variable intrinsic activity at different DA receptors. Finally, evidence is presented indicating that the 3-PPP enantiomers display selectivity for DA receptors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism
  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Caudate Nucleus / drug effects
  • Deoxyglucose / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lisuride / analogs & derivatives
  • Lisuride / pharmacology
  • Models, Biological
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Phenanthrenes / pharmacology
  • Piperidines / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Dopamine / drug effects*
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Substantia Nigra / drug effects
  • Synaptosomes / metabolism
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / drug effects


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Phenanthrenes
  • Piperidines
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • dironyl
  • HW 165
  • Deoxyglucose
  • preclamol
  • Lisuride
  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • Acetylcholine
  • Dopamine