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Behav Brain Res. 2007 Jun 18;180(2):152-60. Epub 2007 Mar 12.

Hypofunctional glutamatergic neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex is involved in the emotional deficit induced by repeated treatment with phencyclidine in mice: implications for abnormalities of glutamate release and NMDA-CaMKII signaling.

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  • 1Department of Neuropsychopharmacology and Hospital Pharmacy, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsuruma-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8560, Japan.


In the present study, we investigated the involvement of prefrontal glutamatergic neurotransmission in the enhancement of immobility (emotional deficit) in a forced swimming test in mice treated with phencyclidine (PCP: 10mg/kg/day for 14 days) repeatedly, which is regarded as an animal model for negative symptoms. A decrease in spontaneous extracellular glutamate release and increase in levels of the glutamate transporter GLAST, were observed in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of PCP-treated mice, compared to saline-treated mice. NMDA receptor subunit 1 (NR1) and Ca(2+)/calmoduline kinase II (CaMKII) were markedly activated in the PFC of saline-treated mice, but not PCP-treated mice, immediately after the forced swimming test. The facilitation of the function of NMDA receptors by d-cycloserine (30mg/kg i.p.), an NMDA receptor glycine-site partial agonist, reversed the enhancement of immobility in the forced swimming test and impairment of CaMKII activation in the PCP-treated mice. Microinjection of dl-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate (10nmol/site/bilaterally), a potent blocker of glutamate transporters, into the PFC of PCP-treated mice also had an attenuating effect. In addition, activation of glial cells and a decrease of neuronal cell size were observed in the PFC of PCP-treated mice. These results suggest that repeated PCP treatment disrupts pre- and post-synaptic glutamatergic neurotransmission and induces morphological changes in the PFC and that such changes cause the emotional deficits exhibited in PCP-treated mice.

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