About this Research Topic
Dopamine is a catecholamine neurotransmitter that regulates important brain and behavioral functions, including reward signaling, motor control and cognition. Dopamine has also been implicated in brain disorders that involve these basic functions, such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and psychosis, drug abuse and other addictions. Several powerful classes of drugs target the dopamine system, including the antipsychotic medications that bind to the dopamine D2 receptor, and the common recreational drugs cocaine and amphetamine. In this Frontiers Research Topic, the authors review the current state of knowledge about dopamine receptor biology and signaling, how dopamine signals modulate synaptic plasticity and basic neural function, the role the dopamine system plays in neuropsychiatric disease, and how new discoveries may form the basis of novel therapeutic approaches.
This review will focus on several areas of interest, without aiming to be comprehensive. We will include a broad range of experimental techniques used to investigate dopamine signaling, and a variety of perspectives from clinical and disease-based research to more basic studies investigating fundamental biological questions. More specifically, we will cover: 1) dopamine receptor ligand binding and occupancy and how this affects signaling, behavior and drug effects; 2) dopamine circuit functioning in reward, cognition and disease states; 3) dopamine receptor interactions with other proteins and receptors and the segregation of downstream signaling pathways; 4) antipsychotic drug mechanisms and how receptor pharmacology can inform clinical practice in the prescribing of dopaminergic medications; 5) dopamine-mediated mechanisms of addiction and other maladaptive behaviors including gambling, anxiety and eating disorders, including synaptic and circuit analysis; 6) Parkinson’s disease pathobiology and treatment; 7) drug development and future targets for treating illnesses with dopamine system pathology or for which dopamine signaling is a useful therapeutic route.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.