Neurochemical Research

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 327–332 | Cite as

Parkin Expression Profile in Dopamine D3 Receptor Knock-Out Mice Brains

  • Velia D’Agata
  • Adriana Tiralongo
  • Alessandro Castorina
  • Gian Marco Leggio
  • Vincenzo Micale
  • Maria Luisa Carnazza
  • Filippo Drago
Original Paper


Patients affected by autosomic recessive juvenile parkinsonism (ARJP) exhibit parkin gene mutations with brain decrease in dopamine D2/D3 binding sites. To date, there are no data indicating whether the reduction in dopamine D3 receptors (DRD3) may be associated with the expression of specific parkin variants. In the present study we investigated parkin expression profile in DRD3 knock-out mice brains. RT-PCR analysis was performed to assess qualitative changes in parkin isoforms’ distribution pattern and in exons’ expression both in wild type controls and dopamine D3 receptor’s knock-out mice. Real-time PCR was performed to quantify single exons mRNA. Results demonstrated that exons 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, were more expressed in wild type compared to dopamine D3 receptor KO mice brains while some other (3, 9, 10) were lower expressed. The expression levels of exons 5, 11 and 12 did not change in both animal groups. Our analysis was confirmed by western blot, which showed that parkin protein levels were influenced by the absence of DRD3.


Dopamine D3 receptor Parkin isoforms Parkin exons expression Autosomic recessive juvenile parkinsonism 



These experiments were supported by the PhD program in Neuropharmacology, University of Catania, Medical School, Italy. We thank Mr P. Asero for his technical support and Mrs F. Capilli for her administrative support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Velia D’Agata
    • 1
  • Adriana Tiralongo
    • 1
  • Alessandro Castorina
    • 1
  • Gian Marco Leggio
    • 2
  • Vincenzo Micale
    • 2
  • Maria Luisa Carnazza
    • 1
  • Filippo Drago
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Diagnostic Pathology, Legal Medicine, Hygiene and Public HealthUniversity of Catania Medical SchoolCataniaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Experimental and Clinical PharmacologyUniversity of Catania Medical SchoolCataniaItaly

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