Gi/o protein-coupled receptors in dopamine neurons inhibit the sodium leak channel NALCN
Dopamine (D2) receptors provide autoinhibitory feedback onto dopamine neurons through well-known interactions with voltage-gated calcium channels and G protein-coupled inwardly-rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels. Here, we reveal a third major effector involved in D2R modulation of dopaminergic neurons - the sodium leak channel, NALCN. We found that activation of D2 receptors robustly inhibits isolated sodium leak currents in wild-type mice but not in NALCN conditional knockout mice. Intracellular GDP-bS abolished the inhibition, indicating a G protein-dependent signaling mechanism. The application of dopamine reliably slowed pacemaking even when GIRK channels were pharmacologically blocked. Furthermore, while spontaneous activity was observed in nearly all dopaminergic neurons in wild-type mice, neurons from NALCN knockouts were mainly silent. Both observations demonstrate the critical importance of NALCN for pacemaking in dopaminergic neurons. Finally, we show that GABA-B receptor activation also produces inhibition of NALCN-mediated currents. Therefore, we identify NALCN as a core effector of inhibitory G protein-coupled receptors.
Data used to generate summary plots presented in Figures 1-4 are included in the manuscript and are provided as source data files.
Article and author information
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS003135)
- Zayd M Khaliq
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All procedures were carried out in accordance with guidelines set by the animal care and use committee for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and stroke and the National Institutes of Health (ACUC protocol number 1332).
- Gary L Westbrook, Vollum Institute, United States
- Received: August 10, 2018
- Accepted: December 17, 2018
- Accepted Manuscript published: December 17, 2018 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: December 24, 2018 (version 2)
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
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