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Neuropharmacology. 2004 Sep;47(4):527-37.

The atypical antipsychotic drug clozapine enhances chronic PCP-induced regulation of prefrontal cortex 5-HT2A receptors.

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Yoshitomi Research Institute of Neuroscience in Glasgow (YRING), West Medical Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.


The ability of antipsychotic drugs to affect 5-HT(2A) receptor function has been widely suggested to contribute to their therapeutic properties. We have compared the ability of the antipsychotic drugs clozapine and haloperidol, alone and in combination with chronic phencyclidine (PCP), to modulate 5-HT(2A) receptor binding and mRNA. Acute (i.p. 45 min) and chronic (21-day) clozapine (osmotic minipump (OMP); 20 mg/kg/day) produced widespread decreases in 5-HT(2A) receptor binding (-60%-80%), measured using [(3)H]ketanserin autoradiography. Conversely, 5-HT(2A) mRNA levels, determined using in-situ hybridisation, were modestly increased by chronic clozapine treatment (+10%-30%). Chronic PCP treatment, at a dose (2.58 mg/kg i.p. intermittently for 28 days) that reproduces many of the neurochemical deficits of schizophrenia, decreased 5-HT(2A) receptor binding in the prefrontal cortex (PFC; -16%), consistent with the changes in post-mortem brain tissue from schizophrenic patients. Combined chronic PCP (i.p.) and clozapine (OMP) treatment down-regulated 5-HT(2A) receptor binding in many areas, similar to the effects of clozapine treatment alone and clozapine further enhanced the effects of PCP in the prefrontal cortex. In contrast 5-HT(2A) mRNA was not altered. Haloperidol treatment alone (1 mg/kg/day; OMP) and in combination with PCP (i.p.), generally produced no changes in 5-HT(2A) receptor protein or mRNA. Hence chronic PCP treatment, as employed here, mimics the decreased 5-HT(2A) receptor binding observed in the PFC of schizophrenic patients. Clozapine's enhancement of the natural response of PCP to down-regulate PFC 5-HT(2A) receptors may contribute to it's improved therapeutic profile against negative symptoms and cognitive deficits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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