Brain dopamine D2 receptor mRNA levels are elevated in young spontaneously hypertensive rats Academic Article uri icon


  • Levels of brain dopamine D2 receptor expression were compared between spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) controls by quantitative in situ hybridisation, using a complementary RNA probe for D2 receptor mRNA. In SHR which were 6 weeks of age, significantly higher levels of D2 receptor mRNA were found in the caudate-putamen (42%), nucleus accumbens (23%), olfactory tubercle (17%) and substantia nigra (38%) compared to age-matched WKY controls. D2 receptor mRNA levels were also higher in the substantia nigra (27%) of 12-14-week old SHR compared to WKY. The increased levels of dopamine D2 receptor gene expression displayed in young prehypertensive SHR could implicate altered central dopaminergic activity in the pathogenesis of hypertension.

publication date

  • September 1999