Impact Factor


Front. Behav. Neurosci., 23 May 2014 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00188

Local control of striatal dopamine release

  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 2CHDI Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

The mesolimbic and nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) systems play a key role in the physiology of reward seeking, motivation and motor control. Importantly, they are also involved in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia and addiction. Control of DA release in the striatum is tightly linked to firing of DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the substantia nigra (SN). However, local influences in the striatum affect release by exerting their action directly on axon terminals. For example, endogenous glutamatergic and cholinergic activity is sufficient to trigger striatal DA release independently of cell body firing. Recent developments involving genetic manipulation, pharmacological selectivity or selective stimulation have allowed for better characterization of these phenomena. Such termino-terminal forms of control of DA release transform considerably our understanding of the mesolimbic and nigrostriatal systems, and have strong implications as potential mechanisms to modify impaired control of DA release in the diseased brain. Here, we review these and related mechanisms and their implications in the physiology of ascending DA systems.

Keywords: dopamine, acetylcholine, glutamate, striatum, optogenetics, axonal release, volume transmission

Citation: Cachope R and Cheer JF (2014) Local control of striatal dopamine release. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 8:188. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00188

Received: 02 March 2014; Accepted: 07 May 2014;
Published online: 23 May 2014.

Edited by:

Anton Ilango, National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA

Reviewed by:

Kate M. Wassum, University of California Los Angeles, USA
Stephan Lammel, Stanford University, USA

Copyright © 2014 Cachope and Cheer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Joseph F. Cheer, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 20 Penn Street, HSF I, Room 280J, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA e-mail: jchee001@umaryland.edu