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Neuropharmacology. 2012 Mar;62(3):1554-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.05.016. Epub 2011 May 27.

Chronic phencyclidine (PCP)-induced modulation of muscarinic receptor mRNAs in rat brain: impact of antipsychotic drug treatment.

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1
Psychiatric Research Institute of Neuroscience in Glasgow (PsYRING), University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland, UK. lucinda.steward@roche.com

Abstract

Many antipsychotics (APDs) have a high affinity for muscarinic receptors, which is thought to contribute to their therapeutic efficacy, or side effect profile. In order to define how muscarinic receptor gene expression is affected by atypical or typical APDs, rats were treated with chronic (2.58 mg/kg) PCP (a psychotomimetic) or vehicle, plus clozapine (20 mg/kg/day) or haloperidol (1 mg/kg/day), and M1, M2 and M3 receptor mRNA levels were determined in brain sections. Negligible changes in M2 or M3 muscarinic mRNA were detected in any region after clozapine or haloperidol. Chronic PCP administration increased M1 mRNA expression in the prefrontal cortex, which was not reversed by either chronic clozapine or haloperidol treatment. Chronic clozapine treatment in combination with PCP treatment decreased M1 receptor mRNA levels in the nucleus accumbens core, whereas chronic haloperidol in combination with PCP treatment increased M1 receptor mRNA levels in the ventromedial hypothalamus and medial amygdala. Thus M1 receptor gene expression is targeted by APDs, although the regions affected differ according to the APD treatment and whether PCP has been administered. The different brain circuitry modulated, may reflect the differing modes of action of typical and atypical APDs. These data provide support for the dysregulation of M1 receptors in schizophrenia, and furthermore, modulation by antipsychotic agents in the treatment of schizophrenia.

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