We demonstrate abnormal dopaminergic neurotransmission in anorexic mice, homozygous for a recessive mutation (anx) causing starvation and motor disturbances. Isolated neurons from anx/anx striatum displayed a markedly increased activity of the Na+,K+-ATPase compared with normal littermates. Dopamine down-regulates Na+,K+-ATPase activity in striatal medium spiny neurons in rat, mouse and guinea pig. However, addition of dopamine in vitro failed to suppress the increased activity in anx/anx striatal neurons. Striatal dopamine and its metabolites, but not norepinephrine, were slightly but significantly lower in anx/anx mice than in normal littermates. We suggest that abnormal dopaminergic transmission may contribute to the anx phenotype.
- Tyrosine hydroxylase
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