Intracerebroventricular administration of neurotensin (NT) suppresses locomotor activity. However, the brain regions that mediate the locomotor depressant effect of NT and receptor subtype-specific mechanisms involved are unclear. Using a brain-penetrating, selective NT receptor type 1 (NTS1) agonist PD149163, we investigated the effect of systemic and brain region-specific NTS1 activation on locomotor activity. Systemic administration of PD149163 attenuated the locomotor activity of C57BL/6J mice both in a novel environment and in their homecage. However, mice developed tolerance to the hypolocomotor effect of PD149163 (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.). Since NTS1 is known to modulate dopaminergic signaling, we examined whether PD149163 blocks dopamine receptor-mediated hyperactivity. Pretreatment with PD149163 (0.1 or 0.05 mg/kg, i.p.) inhibited D2R agonist bromocriptine (8 mg/kg, i.p.)-mediated hyperactivity. D1R agonist SKF-81297 (8 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced hyperlocomotion was only inhibited by 0.1 mg/kg of PD149163. Since the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) have been implicated in the behavioral effects of NT, we examined whether microinjection of PD149163 into these regions reduces locomotion. Microinjection of PD149163 (2 pmol) into the NAc, but not the mPFC suppressed locomotor activity. In summary, our results indicate that systemic and intra-NAc activation of NTS1 is sufficient to reduce locomotion and NTS1 activation inhibits D2R-mediated hyperactivity. Our study will be helpful to identify pharmacological factors and a possible therapeutic window for NTS1-targeted therapies for movement disorders.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was funded by the Samuel C. Johnson Genomics of Addiction Program , the Ulm Foundation , the Godby Foundation at Mayo Clinic and in parts by a grant from the National Institutes of Health ( AA017830 ).
- Locomotor activity
- Nucleus accumbens