Regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase and aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase by dopaminergic drugs

Eur J Pharmacol. 1997 Apr 4;323(2-3):149-57. doi: 10.1016/s0014-2999(97)00037-x.


We provide evidence that dopamine receptors differentially modulate tyrosine hydroxylase and aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase in the mouse striatum. The dopamine D1 receptor family (D1-like) antagonist, R(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1 H-3-benazepine (SCH 23390), elevated aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase activity and protein content in striatum, as well as the mRNA for the enzyme in midbrain. The dopamine D1-like receptor agonist, (+/-)-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-(1 H)-3-benzazepine-7,8-diol (SKF 38393), had no effect on aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase. The dopamine D1-like drugs had no effect on tyrosine hydroxylase. In contrast, the dopamine D2 receptor family (D2-like) antagonists haloperidol and spiperone elevated both tyrosine hydroxylase and aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase activities. The increase in aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase activity was accompanied by elevated enzyme protein content but not mRNA. The dopamine D2-like receptor agonists, bromocriptine, quinpirole and (+/-)-7-hydroxydipropylaminotetralin (7-OH-DPAT), all decreased striatal tyrosine hydroxylase. Under the conditions used, bromocriptine and 7-OH-DPAT, but not quinpirole, decreased aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase activity of striatum. Both the dopamine D1- and D2-like receptor antagonists enhanced the turnover of striatal dopamine to differing degrees, as judged by the ratio of acid metabolites of dopamine to dopamine. Taken together our results indicate that aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase can be modulated independently of tyrosine hydroxylase.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 2,3,4,5-Tetrahydro-7,8-dihydroxy-1-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Aromatic-L-Amino-Acid Decarboxylases / genetics
  • Aromatic-L-Amino-Acid Decarboxylases / metabolism*
  • Benzazepines / pharmacology
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Bromocriptine / pharmacology
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects
  • Corpus Striatum / enzymology
  • Dopamine Agonists / pharmacology
  • Dopamine Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Haloperidol / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mesencephalon / drug effects
  • Mesencephalon / enzymology
  • Mice
  • Quinpirole / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / physiology
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / physiology
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes / pharmacology
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / genetics
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism*


  • Benzazepines
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2
  • Tetrahydronaphthalenes
  • Quinpirole
  • Bromocriptine
  • 2,3,4,5-Tetrahydro-7,8-dihydroxy-1-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Aromatic-L-Amino-Acid Decarboxylases
  • Haloperidol
  • 7-hydroxy-2-N,N-dipropylaminotetralin