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Brain Res. 2004 Oct 8;1023(1):54-63.

Clozapine increases both acetylcholine and dopamine release in rat ventral hippocampus: role of 5-HT1A receptor agonism.

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Division of Psychopharmacology, Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 1601 23rd Avenue South, The First Floor Laboratory Rm-1117, The Psychiatric Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN 37212, USA.


Atypical antipsychotic drugs (APDs) such as clozapine, but not the typical APD haloperidol, improve some aspects of cognition in schizophrenia. This advantage has been attributed, in part, to the ability of the atypical APDs to markedly increase acetylcholine (ACh) and dopamine (DA) release in rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), while producing a minimal effect in the nucleus accumbens (NAC) or striatum. The atypical APD-induced preferential release of DA, but not ACh, in the mPFC is partially inhibited by the selective 5-HT(1A) antagonist WAY100635. However, little is known about these effects of atypical APDs in the ventral hippocampus (vHIP), another possible site of action of atypical APDs with regard to cognitive enhancement. The present study demonstrates that clozapine (10 mg/kg) comparably increases both ACh and DA release in the vHIP and mPFC. The increases in DA, but not ACh, release in both regions were partially attenuated by WAY100635 (0.2 mg/kg), which had no effect by itself on the release of either neurotransmitter in either region. Tetrodotoxin (TTX; 1 microM), a Na(+) channel blocker, in the perfusion medium, eliminated the clozapine (10 mg/kg)-induced ACh and DA release in the vHIP, indicating their neuronal origin. Haloperidol produced a slight increase in ACh release in the vHIP at 1 mg/kg, and DA release in the mPFC at 0.1 mg/kg. In conclusion, clozapine increases ACh and DA release in the vHIP and mPFC, whereas haloperidol has minimal effects on the release of these two neurotransmitters in either region. These differences may contribute, at least in part, to the superior ability of clozapine, compared to haloperidol, to improve cognition in schizophrenia. 5-HT(1A) agonism is important to the ability of clozapine and perhaps other atypical APDs to increase DA, but not ACh, release in the vHIP, as well as the mPFC. The role of hippocampus in the cognitive effects of atypical APDs warrants more intensive study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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