The expression of the human adenosine A(2A) receptor was examined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in post-mortem human brain tissue that was obtained from normal subjects and patients who died with Parkinson's disease. Adenosine A(2A) receptor mRNA was detected in both striatal (nucleus accumbens, caudate nucleus and putamen) and extrastriatal (globus pallidus and substantia nigra) brain regions. A significant decrease in the level of adenosine A(2A) receptor mRNA was found in the anterior and posterior caudate nucleus and anterior dorsal putamen, whereas a significant increase was observed in the substantia nigra pars reticulata of Parkinsonian brain when compared to age-matched controls. No change in adenosine A(2A) receptor mRNA levels was seen in any other brain region examined. This study demonstrates that A(2A) receptor mRNA expression is altered in the basal ganglia of patients who died with Parkinson's disease and who were receiving treatment with dopaminergic drugs. The adenosine A(2A) receptor appears subject to regulation by dopaminergic systems in human brain, though these data do not permit a distinction to be made between the effects of neuronal degeneration or drug treatment. The adenosine A(2A) receptor may therefore form a target for the treatment of basal ganglia disease. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
- Adenosine A(2A) receptor
- Basal ganglia
- Parkinson's disease
- Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction
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