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

Typical and atypical antipsychotic drug effects on locomotor hyperactivity and deficits in sensorimotor gating in a genetic model of NMDA receptor hypofunction.

Psychotomimetic effects of NMDA antagonists in humans suggest that NMDA receptor hypofunction could contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. A mouse line that expresses low levels of the NMDA R1 subunit ( NR1) of the NMDA receptor was generated to model endogenous NMDA hypofunction. These mutant mice show increased locomotor activity, increased acoustic startle reactivity and deficits in prepulse inhibition (PPI) of acoustic startle. The present study examined effects of a typical antipsychotic drug, haloperidol, and two atypical antipsychotic drugs (olanzapine and risperidone) on behavioral alterations in the NR1 hypomorphic ( NR1-/-) mice. Haloperidol significantly reduced activity in the wild type controls at each dose tested (0.05, 0.1, and 0.2 mg/kg). The NR1-/- mice were less sensitive to the haloperidol-induced locomotor inhibition in comparison to the NR1+/+ mice. In contrast to haloperidol, olanzapine reduced the hyperactivity in the NR1-/- mice at a dose that produced minimal effects on locomotor activity in the wild type mice. These data suggest that non-dopaminergic blocking properties of olanzapine contribute to the drug's ability to reduce hyperactivity in the NR1 deficient mice. In the PPI paradigm, haloperidol (0.5 mg/kg) did not affect the increased startle reactivity in the NR1-/- mice, but did reduce startle amplitude in the NR1+/+ mice. Haloperidol increased PPI in both the mutant and wild type strains. Unlike haloperidol, risperidone (0.3 mg/kg) and olanzapine (3 mg/kg) reduced startle magnitude in both NR1+/+ and NR1-/- mice. Like haloperidol, risperidone and olanzapine increased PPI in both NR1+/+ and NR1-/- mice. The similar effects of these atypical antipsychotic drugs in wild type mice and mice with markedly reduced NR1 expression suggest that the drugs were not working by a NMDA receptor-dependent mechanism to increase PPI. Since both haloperidol and the atypical drugs increased PPI, it is likely that D(2) dopamine receptor blockade is responsible for the drug effects on sensorimotor gating.[1]


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