Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 June 2009
Dopamine is a major neurotransmitter and neuromodulator in vertebrate retina. Although its pharmacological and physiological actions are well understood, the biochemical mechanisms of its signal transduction are less clear. Acting via D1 receptors, dopamine was shown to increase cyclic AMP levels in intact retina and to activate adenylate cyclase in retinal homogenates. The action via activation of D2 receptors is controversial: it was reported to decrease cyclic AMP levels in intact retina but inhibition of cyclase could not be demonstrated in retinal homogenates; also it was reported to activate rod outer segment cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase in vitro but did not decrease cyclic GMP levels in aspartate-treated retinas. We made an attempt to fractionate bovine retinal membranes and to investigate the effects of dopamine, via Dl and D2 receptors, on the synthesis and hydrolysis of cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP. Activation of cyclic AMP synthesis was noted in all fractions, but no effects were evident on cyclic nucleotide hydrolysis or cyclic GMP synthesis in any fraction. Also, D2 agonist did not inhibit cyclic AMP synthesis. These observations suggest that D2 receptors may not be directly coupled to cyclic nucleotide metabolizing enzymes in bovine retina.
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