Send to

Choose Destination
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001 Jun;156(1):1-13.

Psychotogenic properties of benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonists.

Author information

Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


The neurochemical, behavioral, and cognitive effects of the benzodiazepine receptor partial inverse agonist beta-carboline FG 7142 (FG), a drug traditionally described as exhibiting 'anxiogenic' effects, are proposed to model core components of present theories of the neuronal mechanisms of schizophrenia. FG activates the mesolimbic dopaminergic system and, via increases in dopaminergic activity in the nucleus accumbens, disinhibits corticopetal cholinergic projections. The latter effect of FG is hypothesized to mediate the hyperattentional impairments that contribute to the development of psychotic cognition. Furthermore, the FG-induced abnormal overprocessing of conditioned stimuli and contexts provides an explanation of the 'anxiogenic' effects of FG. The FG-induced increases in the activity of cortical cholinergic inputs and the FG-induced cognitive impairments in rats and monkeys were demonstrated to be attenuated by the administration of typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs. Compared to the classic psychotogenic drugs amphetamine and phencyclidine, the effects of FG serve as an alternative psychotogenic manipulation in research focusing on the cortical and cognitive aspects of current theories of schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center