Gender-specific effects of dopamine transporter mutations on the induc…
Virtually all neuropsychiatric disorders display sex differences in prevalence, age of onset, and/or clinical symptomology. Although altered dopamine (DA) signaling is a feature of many of these disorders, sex-dependent mechanisms uniquely responsive to DA that drive sex-dependent behaviors remain unelucidated. Previously, we established that anomalous DA efflux (ADE) is a prominent feature of the DA transporter (DAT) variant Val559, a coding substitution identified in two male-biased disorders: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder. In vivo, Val559 ADE induces activation of nigrostriatal D2-type DA autoreceptors (D2ARs) that magnifies inappropriate, nonvesicular DA release by elevating phosphorylation and surface trafficking of ADE-prone DAT proteins. Here we demonstrate that DAT Val559 mice exhibit sex-dependent alterations in psychostimulant responses, social behavior, and cognitive performance. In a search for underlying mechanisms, we discovered that the ability of ADE to elicit D2AR regulation of DAT is both sex and circuit-dependent, with dorsal striatum D2AR/DAT coupling evident only in males, whereas D2AR/DAT coupling in the ventral striatum is exclusive to females. Moreover, systemic administration of the D2R antagonist sulpiride, which precludes ADE-driven DAT trafficking, can normalize DAT Val559 behavioral changes unique to each sex and without effects on the opposite sex or wildtype mice. Our studies support the sex- and circuit dependent capacity of D2ARs to regulate DAT as a critical determinant of the sex-biased effects of perturbed DA signaling in neurobehavioral disorders. Moreover, our work provides a cogent example of how a shared biological insult drives alternative physiological and behavioral trajectories as opposed to resilience.
Reference: Stewart A, Mayer FP, Gowrishankar R, Davis GL, Areal LB, Gresch PJ, Katamish RM, Peart R, Stilley SE, Spiess K, Rabil MJ, Diljohn FA, Wiggins AE, Vaughan RA, Hahn MK, Blakely RD. Behaviorally penetrant, anomalous dopamine efflux exposes sex and circuit dependent regulation of dopamine transporters. Mol Psychiatry. 2022 Sep 18. doi: 10.1038/s41380-022-01773-7.
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