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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of the NMDA receptor subunit in the expression of the discriminative stimulus effect induced by ketamine.

Ketamine, which is a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, has been used as a dissociative anesthetic agent. However, chronic use of ketamine produces psychotomimetic effects, such as nightmares, hallucination and delusion. Therefore, the present study was designed to ascertain the role of the NMDA receptor and sigma receptor in the discriminative stimulus effect induced by ketamine. Fischer 344 rats were trained to discriminate between ketamine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) and saline under a fixed-ratio 10 food-reinforced procedure. Non-competitive antagonists for both NR2A- and NR2B-containing NMDA receptors, such as phencyclidine (0.1--1 mg/kg, i.p.) and dizocilpine (3--30 microg/kg, i.p.), and the NR2A-containing NMDA receptor-preferred antagonist dextromethorphan (3--56 mg/kg, i.p.) fully substituted for the ketamine cue in a dose-dependent manner. By contrast, the NR2B-containing NMDA receptor antagonist ifenprodil (5--20 mg/kg, i.p.) exhibited no generalization. Additionally, the competitive NMDA antagonist 3-[(+/-)-2-carboxypiperazine-4-yl] propyl-1-phosphonic acid ((+/-)-CPP; 0.3--5.6 mg/kg, i.p.) and a sigma receptor ligand DTG (0.3--3 mg/kg, s.c.) displayed no generalization to the ketamine cue. These results suggest that NR1/NR2A subunit containing NMDA antagonism may be critical for the production of the ketamine cue.[1]


  1. Role of the NMDA receptor subunit in the expression of the discriminative stimulus effect induced by ketamine. Narita, M., Yoshizawa, K., Nomura, M., Aoki, K., Suzuki, T. Eur. J. Pharmacol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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