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Eur J Pharmacol. 1988 Jan 12;145(2):141-51.

Differences in results from in vivo and in vitro studies on the use-dependency of N-methylaspartate antagonism by MK-801 and other phencyclidine receptor ligands.

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Department of Physiology, Royal Veterinary College, London, U.K.


We have used microelectrophoretic and intravenous administration of drugs to rat spinal cord neurones in vivo and bath application to rat cortical wedges in vitro to evaluate MK-801 and other phencyclidine (PCP) receptor ligands as N-methylaspartate (NMA) antagonists, paying particular regard to the possible use-dependent nature of their action. MK-801, 0.1-0.5 mg/kg, was a selective and long-lasting NMA antagonist. We were unable to demonstrate significant use-dependent onset of antagonism of NMA by any of the drugs in vivo. Recovery, however, for MK-801 was use-dependent. In vitro there was a gradation with MK-801 being very use-dependent, followed by (PCP), cyclazocine and ketamine, the last showing little or no use-dependence. Results of experiments modulating the in vitro environment suggest that a significant difference between the in vitro and in vivo systems was temperature. Raising the temperature of the wedge chamber from 23 to 33 degrees C reduced the use-dependence of MK-801, and lowering the temperature to 13 degrees C increased the use-dependence of PCP. The mechanism of action of PCP receptor ligands is discussed in the light of these results.

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