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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Distinct cortical and striatal actions of a β-arrestin-biased dopamine D2 receptor ligand reveal unique antipsychotic-like properties

  • Author(s): Urs, NM
  • Gee, SM
  • Pack, TF
  • McCorvy, JD
  • Evron, T
  • Snyder, JC
  • Yang, X
  • Rodriguiz, RM
  • Borrelli, E
  • Wetsel, WC
  • Jin, J
  • Roth, BL
  • O'Donnell, P
  • Caron, MG
  • Snyder, SH
  • et al.

The current dopamine (DA) hypothesis of schizophrenia postulates striatal hyperdopaminergia and cortical hypodopaminergia. Although partial agonists at DA D2 receptors (D2Rs), like aripipra-zole, were developed to simultaneously target both phenomena, they do not effectively improve cortical dysfunction. In this study, we investigate the potential for newly developed β-arrestin2 (βarr2)-biased D2R partial agonists to simultaneously target hyperand hypodopaminergia. Using neuron-specific βarr2-KO mice, we show that the antipsychotic-like effects of a βarr2-biased D2R ligand are driven through both striatal antagonism and cortical agonism of D2R-βarr2 signaling. Furthermore, βarr2-biased D2R agonism enhances firing of cortical fast-spiking interneurons. This enhanced cortical agonism of the biased ligand can be attributed to a lack of G-protein signaling and elevated expression of βarr2 and G proteincoupled receptor (GPCR) kinase 2 in the cortex versus the striatum. Therefore, we propose that βarr2-biased D2R ligands that exert region-selective actions could provide a path to develop more effective antipsychotic therapies.

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