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Neuropharmacology. 2000 Sep;39(12):2478-91.

Behavioral and neurochemical alterations following repeated phencyclidine administration in rats with neonatal ventral hippocampal lesions.

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  • 1Douglas Hospital Research Centre and Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Québec, H4H 1R3, Montréal, Canada.


Exposure to chronic phencyclidine (PCP) has been reported to mimic certain aspects of schizophrenia in normal subjects as well as to exacerbate symptoms in schizophrenic patients. Analogous to schizophrenics, adult rats with neonatal ventral hippocampal (VH) lesions have been shown to display enhanced sensitivity to both stress and psychostimulants. In order to examine whether repeated PCP treatment can modulate behavior when administered to neonatal VH-lesioned animals, we examined locomotor activity and immobility time in the forced swimming test (FST) in neonatal VH-lesioned rats following repeated PCP treatment. Receptor autoradiography studies were also performed for dopamine (DA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors to identify neurochemical correlates of the altered behavior in these animals. Though repeated PCP administration resulted in increased levels of locomotor activity and rearing in both VH-lesioned as well as sham rats, the effects were much more enhanced in the lesioned rats compared to sham. However, repeated PCP treatment induced hypolocomotion during the habituation period in both sham and lesioned rats. In the FST paradigm, lesioned rats displayed an altered retention of acquired immobility. Repeated PCP administration increased DA D1-like receptors in the caudate-putamen in lesioned rats and decreased striatal D2-like receptors in both sham and lesioned rats. Moreover, repeated PCP administration in lesioned rats decreased NMDA binding sites in the prefrontal cortex while increasing labelling in the subcortical regions. These results suggest that repeated administration of PCP can qualitatively and quantitatively affect behaviors in neonatal VH-lesioned rats related to abnormal neurodevelopmental processes presumably via prefrontal glutamatergic and subcortical dopaminergic dysfunctions.

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