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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2009 Jan;202(1-3):287-93. doi: 10.1007/s00213-008-1132-9. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Comparison of haloperidol, risperidone, sertindole, and modafinil to reverse an attentional set-shifting impairment following subchronic PCP administration in the rat--a back translational study.

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  • 1H. Lundbeck A/S, Ottiliavej 9, 2500 Valby, Denmark.



Selective cognitive impairments, including those of executive function as assessed using the Wisconsin Card Sort Test or intradimensional-extradimensional (ID-ED) tests, are a key feature of schizophrenia but remain inadequately treated by existing therapies. Recently, however, modafinil has been shown to improve attentional set-shifting performance in patients with schizophrenia.


The present study evaluated the recently described analogous rat ID-ED attentional set-shifting task by investigating the effects of various pharmacological challenges to a phencyclidine (PCP)-induced ED shift impairment, namely, haloperidol, risperidone, sertindole, and modafinil.


Rats were subjected to a subchronic systemic administration of either saline vehicle or PCP (5 mg/kg i.p. b.i.d. for 7 days) followed by a 7-day washout period. During this period, rats were trained to dig in baited bowls for a food reward and to discriminate based on odor or digging media. In a single test session conducted the day after the washout period (day 8), rats performed a series of discriminations following acute administration of either vehicle, or haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg s.c.), or risperidone (0.2 mg/kg i.p.), or sertindole (1.25 mg/kg p.o.) or modafinil (64 mg/kg p.o.).


The subchronic PCP-induced ED deficit was ameliorated by sertindole and modafinil but not by haloperidol or risperidone.


Overall, these findings further support that the rat ID-ED test in subchronic PCP-treated rats has utility and validity as a preclinical model of the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia and demonstrates back-translational potential.

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