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Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Oct 1;62(7):730-8. Epub 2007 Jan 3.

Post-pubertal disruption of medial prefrontal cortical dopamine-glutamate interactions in a developmental animal model of schizophrenia.

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Center for Neuropharmacology & Neuroscience, Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, USA.



A neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) induces behavioral and physiological anomalies mimicking pathophysiological changes of schizophrenia. Because prefrontal cortical (PFC) pyramidal neurons recorded from adult NVHL rats exhibit abnormal responses to activation of the mesocortical dopaminergic (DA) system, we explored whether these changes are due to an altered DA modulation of pyramidal neurons.


Whole-cell recordings were used to examine the effects of DA and glutamate agonists on cell excitability in brain slices obtained from pre- (postnatal day [PD] 28-35) and post-pubertal (PD > 61) sham and NVHL animals.


N-methyl d-aspartate (NMDA), alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole propionate (AMPA), and the D(1) agonist SKF38393 increased excitability of deep layer pyramidal neurons in a concentration-dependent manner. The opposite effect was observed with the D(2) agonist quinpirole. The effects of NMDA (but not AMPA) and SKF38393 on cell excitability were significantly higher in slices from NVHL animals, whereas quinpirole decrease of cell excitability was reduced. These differences were not observed in slices from pre-pubertal rats, suggesting that PFC DA and glutamatergic systems become altered after puberty in NVHL rats.


A disruption of PFC dopamine-glutamate interactions might emerge after puberty in brains with an early postnatal deficit in hippocampal inputs, and this disruption could contribute to the manifestation of schizophrenia-like symptoms.

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