Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Eells, B. Jeffery

Committee Member

Chambers, Janice

Committee Member

Filipov, Nickolay

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Veterinary Medical Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Veterinary Medicine


Veterinary Medical Science Program


Previous data have implicated both neuronal activity and dopamine (DA) autoreceptor activation in the modulation of Nur receptor expression in dopamine neurons. Since dopamine receptor antagonists block the autoreceptors but also alter dopamine release and dopamine neuron activity, the mechanism responsible for gene expression is unclear. We hypothesized that blocking the stimulation of dopamine autoreceptors will be the mechanism that causes the induction of the nuclear receptor genes. To test this hypothesis, we treated 78 mice (1hr or 4hr incubation periods) with either a dopamine D2 receptor agonist (quinpirole), a D2 receptor antagonist (sulpiride or haloperidol) or γ-butyrolactone (GBL), a drug that inhibits dopamine neuron activity. HPLC and real time pCR was performed on each mouse to measure gene expression and neurochemical levels. We found that D2 receptor treatments induced Nur receptor expression levels and caused significant differences among neurochemical levels in the striatum and nucleus accumbens.