Phenotypic disruption to orofacial movement topography in conditional mutants with generalized CamKIIa/Cre D1Tox versus striatal-specific DARPP-32/Cre D1Tox ablation of D1 dopamine receptor-expressing cells
Orofacial movements were quantified in (a) DARPP-32/Cre D1Tox mutants, having progressive loss of D1 dopamine receptor expressing striatal medium spiny neurons and (b) CamKIIa/Cre D1Tox mutants, having progressive, generalized loss of forebrain D1 receptor expressing cells. Horizontal jaw movements and tongue protrusions were reduced in DARPP-32/Cre but not in CamKIIa/Cre mutants; head and vibrissae movements were increased in DARPP-32/Cre but decreased in CamKIIa/Cre mutants. In drug challenge studies, tongue protrusions were increased in CamKIIa/Cre mutants following vehicle, suggesting a stress-related phenotype. These findings indicate that mice with progressive loss of striatal-specific D1 receptor expressing cells have an orofacial phenotype that may be modulated by the loss of extrastriatal D1 receptor expressing cells. As progressive loss of D1 dopamine receptor-expressing cells is a hallmark feature of Huntington's disease (HD), these findings may inform the functional role of loss of this cell population in the overall pathobiology of HD.