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Neurochem Int. 2006 May-Jun;48(6-7):541-6. Epub 2006 Mar 3.

Repeated injection of MK801: an animal model of schizophrenia?

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, N-7489 Trondheim, Norway.


Glutamate-induced neurotoxicity plays an important role in neurological and psychiatric diseases. Thus, much attention has been given to the potential neuroprotective role of glutamate receptor antagonists, especially to those acting on the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) subtype. However, in addition to their neuroprotective potential, these compounds have also neurotoxic and psychotogenic properties. In the present study we used repeated injections of MK801 to examine if this non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist could be used to produce schizophrenia-like alterations in behavior and brain metabolism in animals. Rats were given injections of MK801 (0.1 mg/kg) on six consecutive days, the last dose together with [1-(13)C]glucose and [1,2-(13)C]acetate, to probe neuronal and astrocytic metabolism, respectively. Analyses of extracts from parts of the frontal cortex plus cingulate and retrosplenial cortices and temporal lobes were performed using (13)C and (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Changes in glutamate and glutamine were restricted to the temporal lobe, in which amounts and labeling from [1-(13)C]glucose and [1,2-(13)C]acetate were increased compared to control. Locomotor activity was slightly higher in rats treated with MK801 compared to untreated animals. Metabolic changes did not resemble the alterations occurring in schizophrenia and those after repeated high dose (0.5 mg/kg) [Kondziella, D., Brenner, E., Eyjolfsson, E.M., Markinhuhta, K.R., Carlsson, M., Sonnewald, U., 2005. Glial-neuronal interactions are impaired in the schizophrenia model of repeated MK801 exposure. Neuropsychopharmacology, Epub ahead of print] but rather those caused by MK801 seen after a single high dose (0.5 mg/kg) [Brenner, E., Kondziella, D., Haberg, A., Sonnewald, U., 2005. Impaired glutamine metabolism in NMDA receptor hypofunction induced by MK801. J. Neurochem. 94, 1594-1603.].

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