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Eur J Pharmacol. 1996 Aug 22;310(1):1-8.

Inhibition by a putative antipsychotic quinolinone derivative (OPC-14597) of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan.


The effects of the newly synthesized quinolinone derivative, OPC-14597 (7-{4-[4-(2,3-dichlorophenyl)-1-piperazinyl]butyloxy}-3, 4-dihydro-2(1 H)-quinolinone), on dopaminergic neuronal activity in the ventral tegmental area were examined using both in vivo microiontophoretic methods in chloral hydrate-anesthetized rats and the tight-seal whole-cell patch-clamp technique in thin-slice preparations of the rat brain. Neurons in the ventral tegmental area were classified as type I or type II according to their responses to antidromic stimulation of the nucleus accumbens, probably corresponding to dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic neurons, respectively. Antidromic spikes elicited by nucleus accumbens stimulation were inhibited by microiontophoretic application of dopamine and OPC-14597 in type I, but not in type II neurons. Although the OPC-14597-induced inhibition was antagonized by simultaneous application of domperidone (5-chloro-1-[1-[3-(2,3-dihydro-2-oxo-1 H-benzimidazo-1-yl)-propy]-4-piperidinyl]-1,3-dihydro-2H- benzimidazol-2-one; dopamine D2 receptor antagonist), SCH 23390 (R(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4, 5-tetrahydro-1 H-3-benzazepine hydrochloride; dopamine D1 receptor antagonist) had no such effect. Spontaneous firing of type I neurons was also inhibited by iontophoretically applied OPC-14597 and dopamine, whereas that of type II neurons was unaffected. The inhibitory effect of OPC-14597 on the spontaneous firing of type I neurons was antagonized by domperidone, but not by SCH 23390. In a whole-cell patch-clamp study using a thin-slice preparation of the rat brain, bath application of OPC-14597 induced hyperpolarization accompanied by inhibition of spontaneously occurring action potentials in the large neurons (> 20 microns in diameter) in a concentration-dependent manner. These results suggest that OPC-14597 acts on dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area as a dopamine D2 receptor agonist to inhibit neuronal activities, probably by increasing membrane potassium conductance.

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