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Sunday 01 December 2002

The effects of excitotoxic hippocampal lesions in rats on risperidone- and olanzapine-induced locomotor suppression.

By: Bardgett ME, Humphrey WM, Csernansky JG.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2002 Dec;27(6):930-8

Previous studies have shown that excitotoxic hippocampal lesions in rats attenuate the ability of different doses of haloperidol, but not of clozapine, to suppress locomotor activity. The purpose of the present study was to determine if kainic acid-induced hippocampal damage reduces the degree of locomotor suppression produced by two relatively newer antipsychotic drugs, risperidone and olanzapine. Young adult male rats received bilateral intracerebroventricular infusions of the excitotoxin, kainic acid (KA), or vehicle and were tested for locomotor responses to drug treatment 30 days later. Infusions of KA produced neuronal loss in the CA3 region of the dorsal hippocampus in every rat. As reported previously, KA lesions reduced the ability of haloperidol (0.35 mg/kg) to completely suppress the locomotor activity elicited by amphetamine (1.5 mg/kg) relative to the effect of haloperidol in non-lesioned controls. Lesioned animals treated with a moderate dose of risperidone (1.4 mg/kg) also exhibited significantly more locomotor activity after amphetamine treatment in comparison to control animals. A trend toward greater activity was also observed in the lesioned group relative to the control group after olanzapine (3.0 mg/kg) injection (p =.09, 2-tailed). The locomotor effects of lower and higher doses of risperidone and olanzapine were not altered by kainic acid lesions. These data suggest that the locomotor-suppressive effects of moderate doses of risperidone and, perhaps, olanzapine involve hippocampal neurons, but that higher doses of each drug can suppress activity in a hippocampal-independent manner.

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