Altering behavioral responses and dopamine transporter protein with antisense peptide nucleic acids

Beth M. Tyler-McMahon, Jennifer A. Stewart, Joshua Jackson, M. D. Bitner, Abdul Fauq, Daniel J. McCormick, Elliott Richelson

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Abstract

The dopamine transporter (DAT) plays a role in locomotion and is an obligatory target for amphetamines. We designed and synthesized an antisense peptide nucleic acid (PNA) to rat DAT to examine the effect of this antisense molecule on locomotion and on responsiveness to amphetamines. Rats were injected intraperitoneally daily for 9 days with either saline, an antisense DAT PNA, a scrambled DAT PNA, or a mismatch DAT PNA. On days 7 and 9 after initial motility measurements were taken, the animals were challenged with 10 mg/kg of amphetamine and scored for motility. On day 7, there was no significant difference between the baseline levels of activity of any of the groups or their responses to amphetamine. On day 9, the antisense PNA-treated rats showed a statistically significant increase in their resting motility (P < 0.01). When these rats were challenged with amphetamine, motility of the saline-, scrambled PNA-, and mismatch PNA-treated animals showed increases of 31-, 36-, and 20-fold, respectively, while the antisense PNA-treated animals showed increases of only 3.4-fold (P < 0.01). ELISA results revealed a 32% decrease in striatal DAT in antisense PNA-treated rats compared with the saline, scrambled PNA, and mismatch PNA controls (P < 0.001). These results extend our previous findings that brain proteins can be knocked down in a specific manner by antisense molecules administered extracranially. Additionally, these results suggest some novel approaches for the treatment of diseases dependent upon the function of the dopamine transporter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-932
Number of pages4
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Volume62
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2001

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Keywords

  • Antisense
  • Dopamine transporter
  • Locomotor behavior
  • Peptide nucleic acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology

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