C. Herold, I. Joshi, O. Chehadi, M. Hollmann, and O. Güntürkün (2012).
Plasticity in D1-like receptor expression is associated with different components of cognitive processes.
PLoS One 7(5): e36484.
Dopamine D1-like receptors consist of D1 (D1A) and D5 (D1B) receptors and play a key role in working memory. However, their possibly differential contribution to working memory is unclear. We combined a working memory training protocol with a stepwise increase of cognitive subcomponents and real-time RT-PCR analysis of dopamine receptor expression in pigeons to identify molecular changes that accompany training of isolated cognitive subfunctions. In birds, the D1-like receptor family is extended and consists of the D1A, D1B, and D1D receptors. Our data show that D1B receptor plasticity follows a training that includes active mental maintenance of information, whereas D1A and D1D receptor plasticity in addition accompanies learning of stimulus-response associations. Plasticity of D1-like receptors plays no role for processes like response selection and stimulus discrimination. None of the tasks altered D2 receptor expression. Our study shows that different cognitive components of working memory training have distinguishable effects on D1-like receptor expression.