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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2009 Apr;19(4):256-65. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2008.12.002. Epub 2009 Jan 15.

Excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission is chronically altered following perinatal NMDA receptor blockade.

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Schizophrenia Research Institute (SRI), Sydney, Australia.


N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor blockade in rodents induces behavioural and neurochemical changes reminiscent of schizophrenia symptoms and pathology. To examine how NMDA receptor blockade affects glutamatergic and GABAergic pathways when administered during early brain development, [3H]MK-801 and [3H]muscimol binding to NMDA and GABA(A) receptors was examined at four time-points following injections of phencyclidine (PCP) or saline on postnatal days (PN)7, 9 and 11. [3H]MK-801 binding was significantly increased in PCP-treated rats in the thalamus from PN18 to PN96, in the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices at PN32, and in the hippocampus at PN96. In a similar manner, [3H]muscimol binding was increased in PCP-treated rats in the thalamus and hippocampus from PN18 to PN96, and in the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices at PN32. Glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission is therefore chronically altered by this treatment, which has relevance to disease processes that may be involved in schizophrenia.

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