Regulation of Dopamine Transporter Expression by Neuronal Activity
Actions of extracellular dopamine released in the central nervous system are primarily terminated by the dopamine transporter. This protein is also a target for therapeutic and abused psychostimulant drugs. Different methods used to study dopamine transporter function, its expression, and intracellular signaling in neurons are described in this chapter. Function of the dopamine transporter in mesencephalic primary cultures can be measured by dopamine uptake assay. Expression of the transporter protein and mRNA are analyzed by western blots and quantitative RT-PCR, respectively. Finally, methods to study neuronal activity-dependent changes in Ca2+⁄calmodulin-dependent protein (CaM) kinase activity in dopamine neurons are described.
Key wordsMesencephalic Dopamine Uptake Transporter Western blot Quantitative RT-PCR Action potential Tyrosine hydroxylase CaM kinase MAP kinase
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