Drug-induced up-regulation of dopamine D2 receptors on cultured cells

J Neurochem. 1995 Aug;65(2):569-77. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.1995.65020569.x.


Ligand-induced up-regulation of recombinant dopamine D2 receptors was assessed using C6 glioma cells stably expressing the short (415-amino-acid; D2s) and long (444-amino-acid; D2L) forms of the receptor. Overnight treatment of C6-D2L cells with N-propylnorapomorphine (NPA) caused a time- and concentration-dependent increase in the density of receptors, as assessed by the binding of radioligand to membranes prepared from the cells, with no change in the affinity of the receptors for the radioligand. The effect of 10 microM NPA was maximal after 10 h, at which time the density of D2L receptors was more than doubled. The agonists dopamine and quinpirole also increased the density of D2L receptors. The receptor up-regulation was not specific for agonists, because the antagonists epidepride, sulpiride, and domperidone caused smaller (30-60%) increases in receptor density. Prolonged treatment with 10 microM NPA desensitized D2L receptors, as evidenced by a reduced ability of dopamine to inhibit adenylyl cyclase, whereas treatment with sulpiride was associated with an enhanced responsiveness to dopamine. The magnitude of NPA-induced receptor up-regulation in each of four clonal lines of C6-D2L cells (mean increase, 80%) was greater than in all four lines of C6-D2S cells (33%). Inactivation of pertussis toxin-sensitive G proteins had no effect on the basal density of D2L receptors or on the NPA-induced receptor up-regulation. Treatment with 5 micrograms/ml of cycloheximide, on the other hand, decreased the basal density of receptors and attenuated, but did not prevent, the NPA-induced increase.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apomorphine / analogs & derivatives
  • Apomorphine / pharmacology
  • Dopamine Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Ergolines / pharmacology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Quinpirole
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects*


  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Ergolines
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2
  • Quinpirole
  • N-n-propylnorapomorphine
  • Apomorphine