Motor dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is closely linked to the dopaminergic depletion of striatal neurons and altered synaptic plasticity at corticostriatal synapses. Dopamine receptor D1 (DRD1) stimulation is a crucial step in the formation of long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) stimulation is needed for the formation of long-term depression (LTD) in striatal spiny projection neurons (SPNs). Tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) and its ligand brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are centrally involved in plasticity regulation at the corticostriatal synapses. DRD1 activation enhances TrkB’s sensitivity for BDNF in direct pathway spiny projection neurons (dSPNs). In this study, we showed that the activation of DRD2 in cultured striatal indirect pathway spiny projection neurons (iSPNs) and cholinergic interneurons causes the retraction of TrkB from the plasma membrane. This provides an explanation for the opposing synaptic plasticity changes observed upon DRD1 or DRD2 stimulation. In addition, TrkB was found within intracellular structures in dSPNs and iSPNs from Pitx3−/− mice, a genetic model of PD with early onset dopaminergic depletion in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS). This dysregulated BDNF/TrkB signaling might contribute to the pathophysiology of direct and indirect pathway striatal projection neurons in PD.
Published: Oct 2023