Tumor suppression and improvement in immune systems by specific activation of dopamine D1-receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens

Daisuke Sato, Yusuke Hamada, Michiko Narita, Tomohisa Mori, Hiroyuki Tezuka, Yukari Suda, Kenichi Tanaka, Sara Yoshida, Hideki Tamura, Akihiro Yamanaka, Emiko Senba, Naoko Kuzumaki, Minoru Narita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent research has suggested that the mesolimbic dopamine network that mainly terminates in the nucleus accumbens may positively control the peripheral immune system. The activation of dopamine receptors in neurons in the nucleus accumbens by the release of endogenous dopamine is thus expected to contribute to efferent immune regulation. As in the stimulation of Gs-coupled dopamine D1-receptors or Gi-coupled D2-receptors by endogenous dopamine, we investigated whether specific stimulation of dopamine D1-receptor-expressing neurons or inhibition of dopamine D2-receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens could produce anti-tumor effects and improve the immune system in transgenic mice using pharmacogenetic techniques. Repeated stimulation of D1-receptor-expressing neurons in either the medial shell, lateral shell or core regions of the nucleus accumbens significantly decreased tumor volume under a state of tumor transplantation, whereas repeated suppression of D2-receptor-expressing neurons in these areas had no effect on this event. The number of splenic CD8+ T cells was significantly increased following repeated stimulation of D1-receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens of mice with tumor transplantation. Furthermore, this stimulation produced a significant reduction in the population of splenic CD8+ T cells that expressed immune checkpoint-related inhibitory receptors, PD-1, TIM-3 and LAG-3. These findings suggest that repeated stimulation of D1-receptor-expressing neurons (probably D1-receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons) in the nucleus accumbens suppressed tumor progression and improved the immune system by suppressing the exhaustion of splenic CD8+ T cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalMolecular brain
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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