Date of this Version
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 38:2 (August 7, 2012), pp. 175–182; doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2012.03.007
Clinical observations suggest that antipsychotic effect starts early and increases progressively over time. This time course of antipsychotic effect can be captured in a rat phencyclidine (PCP)-induced hyperlocomotion model, as repeated antipsychotic treatment progressively increases its inhibition of the repeated PCP-induced hyperlocomotion. Although the neural basis of acute antipsychotic action has been studied extensively, the system that mediates the potentiated effect of repeated antipsychotic treatment has not been elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the neuroanatomical basis of the potentiated action of haloperidol (HAL) and clozapine (CLZ) treatment in the repeated PCP-induced hyperlocomotion. Once daily for five consecutive days, adult Sprague–Dawley male rats were first injected with HAL (0.05 mg/kg, sc), CLZ (10.0 mg/ kg, sc) or saline, followed by an injection of PCP (3.2 mg/kg, sc) or saline 30 min later, and motor activity was measured for 90 min after the PCP injection. C-Fos immunoreactivity was assessed either after the acute (day 1) or repeated (day 5) drug tests. Behaviorally, repeated HAL or CLZ treatment progressively increased the inhibition of PCP-induced hyperlocomotion throughout the five days of drug testing. Neuroanatomically, both acute and repeated treatment of HAL significantly increased PCP-induced c-Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAs) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but reduced it in the central amygdaloid nucleus (CeA). Acute and repeated CLZ treatment significantly increased PCP-induced c-Fos expression in the ventral part of lateral septal nucleus (LSv) and VTA, but reduced it in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). More importantly, the effects of HAL and CLZ in these brain areas underwent a time-dependent reduction from day 1 to day 5. These findings suggest that repeated HAL achieves its potentiated inhibition of the PCP-induced hyperlocomotion by acting on the NAs, CeA and VTA, while CLZ does so by acting on the mPFC, LSv and VTA.