Thymocyte differentiation antigen-1 (Thy-1) is a cell surface glycoprotein found on T cells and neurons and is involved in cell-to-cell interactions. In addition, Thy-1 knockouts (KO) are a potential mouse model of restless legs syndrome (RLS) based on clinical observations and the role of dopamine in the disease. In this study, we analyzed the activity and quantity of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine production) and determined phosphorylation levels for the enzyme phosphoserine-40 (pSer-40). There was no significant difference in the total TH activity and pSer-40 TH levels between Thy-1 KO and control groups; however, TH specific activity was significantly lower (by 26%) in Thy-1 KO mice. This difference is due in part to increased TH protein levels in this group (increased by 29%). When analyzed by gender, Thy-1 KO female mouse striata contained less TH specific activity compared with control females (decreased by 41%) and male control or Thy-1 KO animals (decreased by 30%). TH specific activity and pSer-40 TH levels in male Thy-1 KO and control displayed no differences. However, pSer-40 TH was significantly higher in control females (38%) compared with control or Thy-1 KO males. The Thy-1 KO females exhibited significantly lower (28%) pSer-40 TH (normalized to GAPDH or TH) than control females. Indeed, the Thy-1 KO females had 50% of the pSer-40 TH found in controls. Our results suggest a gender effect on TH specific activity, TH protein levels, and serine-40 phosphorylation of TH in Thy-1 KO female mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1583-1588
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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