Tyrosine Kinase B and C Receptors In the Neostriatum and Nucleus Accumbens Are Co-Localized in Enkephalin-Positive and Enkephalin-Negative Neuronal Profiles And Their Expression Is Influenced By Cocaine

Freeman AY, Soghomonian JJ, Pierce RC

Neuroscience, 117(1): 147-156

Single- and double-label immunohistochemistry were used to determine the extent to which the tyrosine kinase B and C receptors, are expressed in enkephalin-immunopositive or enkephalin-immunonegative neuronal profiles in the rat neostriatum and nucleus accumbens. Results indicate that tyrosine kinase B and C receptors are co-localized in both enkephalin-positive and enkephalin-negative neurons in both of these nuclei, which suggests that these receptors influence both the striatal-pallidal (enkephalin) and striatal-ventral mesencephalic (substance P/dynorphin) pathways. We also examined the influence of acute or repeated injections of cocaine on the number of tyrosine kinase B and C receptors immunoreactive neuronal profiles in the rat neostriatum and nucleus accumbens. Following an acute injection of cocaine (15 mg/kg, i.p.), there were significant decreases in the number of tyrosine kinase B and C receptors immunoreactive profiles in specific regions of the neostriatum and nucleus accumbens relative to saline-pretreated rats. One or 14 days following the last of seven daily injections of 15 mg/kg cocaine or saline there were no differences in the numbers of tyrosine kinase B or C receptors immunoreactive neuronal profiles between these treatment groups.Collectively, the present results indicate that tyrosine kinase B and C receptors in the neostriatum and nucleus accumbens are co-localized in enkephalin-positive and enkephalin-negative neuronal profiles, which suggests that the striatal medium spiny neurons expressing tyrosine kinase B and C receptors include those that project to the pallidum or the ventral mesencephalon. The current results also show that an acute injection of cocaine results in a decrease in the number of tyrosine kinase B and C receptors immunoreactive neuronal profiles in specific regions of the nucleus accumbens and neostriatum, indicating that cocaine-induced increases in extracellular dopamine in the striatal complex result in compensatory decreases in the expression of tyrosine kinase B and C receptors.