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Biomolecules. 2019 Nov 18;9(11). pii: E746. doi: 10.3390/biom9110746.

Pharmacological Discrimination of Effects of MK801 on Thalamocortical, Mesothalamic, and Mesocortical Transmissions.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Division of Neuroscience, Graduate School of Medicine, Mie University, Tsu 514-8507, Japan.


N-methyl-d-aspartate/glutamate receptor (NMDAR) is one of the major voltage-sensitive ligand-gated cation channel. Several noncompetitive NMDAR antagonists contribute to pathophysiology of schizophrenia and mood disorders; however, the effects of inhibition of NMDAR on several transmitter system have not been well clarified. Thus, this study determined the selective NMDAR antagonist, MK801 (dizocilpine), on thalamocortical, mesothalamic, and mesocortical transmissions associated with l-glutamate, GABA, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine using multiprobe microdialysis. Perfusion with MK801 into the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) increased and decreased respective regional releases of monoamine and GABA without affecting l-glutamate. The mPFC MK801-induced monoamine release is generated by the regional GABAergic disinhibition. Perfusion with MK801 into the reticular thalamic nucleus (RTN) decreased GABA release in the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MDTN) but increased releases of l-glutamate and catecholamine without affecting serotonin in the mPFC. The RTN MK801-induced l-glutamate release in the mPFC was generated by GABAergic disinhibition in the MDTN, but RTN MK801-induced catecholamine release in the mPFC was generated by activation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate/glutamate receptor (AMPAR) which received l-glutamate release from thalamocortical glutamatergic terminals in the mPFC. Perfusion with MK801 into the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) decreased GABA release in the DRN but selectively increased serotonin release in the MDTN and mPFC. These DRN MK801-induced serotonin releases in the both mPFC and MDTN were also generated by GABAergic disinhibition in the DRN. These results indicate that the GABAergic disinhibition induced by NMDAR inhibition plays important roles in the MK801-induced releases of l-glutamate and monoamine in thalamic nuclei and cortex.


GABA; N-methyl-d-aspartate; l-glutamate; monoamine; mood disorder; schizophrenia

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