Prefrontal mRNA expression of long and short isoforms of D2 dopamine receptor: Possible role in delayed learning deficit caused by early life interleukin-1β treatment

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Long (D2L) and short (D2S) isoform of the D2 dopamine receptor are believed to play different roles in behavioral regulation. However, little is known about differential regulation of these isoforms mRNA expression during the process of learning in physiological and pathological states. In this study, we have investigated the combined effect of training in active avoidance (AA) paradigm and chronic early life treatment with pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1β (1 μg/kg i.p., P15-21) on D2S and D2L dopamine receptor mRNA expression in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of adult rats. We have shown differential regulation of D2 short and long mRNA isoform expression in the mPFC. There was no effect of AA-training on D2S mRNA expression, while D2L mRNA was downregulated in AA-trained control (intact and saline-treated) animals, and this effect was not observed in rats treated with IL-1β. D2S mRNA expression level negatively correlated with learning ability within control (saline-treated and intact) groups but not in IL-1β-treated animals. Thus, prefrontal expression of distinct D2 dopamine receptor splice variants is supposed to be implicated in cognitive decline caused by early life immune challenge.

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