Autoreceptors are those receptors located on neuronal bodies, dendrites, and nerve terminals, which respond to the neurotransmitter released by that neuron, and contribute to the regulation of the synthesis and release of the neurotransmitter itself. Autoreceptors have been identified on the neurons of the nigrostriatal and mesolimbic dopaminergic neurons. Stimulation of these autoreceptors by dopamine agonists decreases dopaminergic activity. Preliminary clinical studies suggest that administration of low doses of conventional dopamine agonists such as apomorphine can inhibit the activity of some dopaminergic neurons and be of therapeutic use in the treatment of excited psychotic states and a variety of abnormal movement disorders. Specific autoreceptor agonists and antagonists may prove to be of considerable clinical and theoretical importance in psychiatry. This article reviews the major preclinical and clinical research on dopamine autoreceptors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health