Date of this Version
Published in final edited form as: Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 2014 Nov 26;128C:78-88. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2014.11.015.
Neurotensin is an endogenous neuropeptide closely associated with the mesolimbic dopaminergic system and shown to possess antipsychotic-like effects. In particular, acute neurotensin receptor activation can inhibit conditioned avoidance response (CAR), attenuate phencyclidine (PCP)-induced prepulse inhibition (PPI) disruptions, and reverse PCP-induced hyperlocomotion. However, few studies have examined the long term effects of repeated neurotensin receptor activation and results are inconsistent. Since clinical administration of antipsychotic therapy often requires a prolonged treatment schedule, here we assessed the effects of repeated activation of neurotensin receptors using an NTS1 receptor selective agonist, PD149163, in 3 behavioral tests of antipsychotic activity. We also investigated whether reactivity to the atypical antipsychotic clozapine was altered following prior PD149163 treatment. Using both normal and prenatally immune activated rats generated through maternal immune activation with polyinosinic:polycytidilic acid, we tested PD149163 in CAR, PCP (1.5 mg/kg)-induced PPI disruption, and PCP (3.2 mg/kg)-induced hyperlocomotion. For each paradigm, rats were first repeatedly tested with vehicle or PD149163 (1.0, 4.0, 8.0 mg/kg, sc) along with vehicle or PCP for PPI and hyperlocomotion tests, then challenged with PD149163 after 2 drug-free days. All rats were then challenged with clozapine (5.0 mg/kg, sc). During the repeated test period, PD149163 exhibited antipsychotic-like effects in all three models. On the PD149163 challenge day, prior drug treatment only caused a tolerance effect in CAR. This tolerance in CAR was transferrable to clozapine, as it enhanced clozapine tolerance in the same group of animals. Although no tolerance effect was seen in the PD149163 challenge for the PCP-induced hyperlocomotion test, the clozapine challenge showed increased sensitivity in groups previously exposed to repeated PD149163 treatment. Our findings suggest repeated exposure to NTS1 receptor agonists can induce a dose-dependent tolerance and cross-tolerance to clozapine to some of its behavioral effects but not others.