Author(s): Unger EL, Wiesinger JA, Hao L, Beard JL
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Abstract Iron deficiency anemia in early life alters the development and functioning of the dopamine neurotransmitter system, but data regarding the specific effects of brain iron loss on dopamine D(2) receptor regulation are lacking. Cell culture and animal models were employed in this study to determine whether D(2) receptor expression is altered when cellular iron levels are depleted. Endogenous D(2) receptor-expressing PC12 cells exposed to increasing concentrations of the iron chelator desferrioxamine (25-100 micromol/L) exhibited dose-dependent decreases in total D(2) receptor protein concentrations (20-65\%), but there were minimal effects on D(2) receptor mRNA levels. When iron-deficient cells were repleted with ferric ammonium citrate for 24 h, D(2) receptor protein densities were similar to control. Dietary iron deficiency for 6 wk in weanling rats also reduced regional iron concentrations by nearly 50\% in the ventral midbrain and caudate but did not affect D(2) receptor mRNA levels in the ventral midbrain. Iron deficiency significantly reduced membrane D(2) receptor protein levels by >70\% in caudate, whereas cytosolic concentrations showed only 25\% losses. D(2) receptor protein densities and regional iron concentrations were restored within 2 wk of dietary iron repletion. These results support the concept that D(2) receptor gene expression is not significantly changed by iron deficiency, whereas dopamine receptor trafficking is affected and is likely related to known dopamine system alterations in iron deficiency.
This article was published in J Nutr
and referenced in Brain Disorders & Therapy