The striatum contains several types of neurons including medium spiny projection neurons (MSNs), cholinergic interneurons (ChIs), and fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs). Modulating the activity of these neurons by the dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) can greatly impact motor control and movement disorders. D2R exists in two isoforms: D2L and D2S. Here, we assessed whether alterations in the D2L and D2S expression levels affect neuronal excitability and synaptic function in striatal neurons. We observed that quinpirole inhibited the firing rate of all three types of striatal neurons in wild-type (WT) mice. However, in D2L knockout (KO) mice, quinpirole enhanced the excitability of ChIs, lost influence on spike firing of MSNs, and remained inhibitory effect on spike firing of FSIs. Additionally, we showed mIPSC frequency (but not mIPSC amplitude) was reduced in ChIs from D2L KO mice compared with WT mice, suggesting spontaneous GABA release is reduced at GABAergic terminals onto ChIs in D2L KO mice. Furthermore, we found D2L deficiency resulted in reduced dendritic spine density in ChIs, suggesting D2L activation plays a role in the formation/maintenance of dendritic spines of ChIs. These findings suggest new molecular and cellular mechanisms for causing ChIs abnormality seen in Parkinson's disease or drug-induced dyskinesias.


Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).


Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)

Date of publication

Spring 1-4-2022



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