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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1997 Jun;46(1-2):127-35.

Comparison of the effects of an ampakine with those of methamphetamine on aggregate neuronal activity in cortex versus striatum.

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Department of Philosophy, University of California, Irvine 92697, USA.


The present study used in situ hybridization to c-fos mRNA to compare the effects of an 'ampakine' (a positive modulator of AMPA type glutamate receptors) with those of methamphetamine on the balance of aggregate neuronal activity in the cortex versus striatum. Methamphetamine (n = 11) induced a marked increase in c-fos mRNA in the dorsomedial quadrant of the striatum and a 21% smaller, but still reliable, increase in the ventrolateral quadrant. The drug also elevated c-fos mRNA levels in the ventral and medial segments of the orbitofrontal cortex but had no detectable effects in motor and somatosensory neocortices. The ampakine (n = 11) caused a near inverse pattern of changes; i.e. a sizable increase in somatosensory labeling and a significant decrease in striatal labeling with statistically insignificant effects in motor and orbitofrontal cortex. Within-rat cortical and striatal values were correlated in both the vehicle (n = 11) and ampakine groups, and appropriate comparisons established that the ampakine caused 27-55% increases in the ratio of cortical to striatal labeling. These results are in accord with the idea that facilitation of glutamatergic transmission has 'network level' effects that are opposite in nature to those resulting from enhanced dopaminergic transmission. The potential relevance of ampakines alone or in conjunction with dopamine antagonists for the treatment of schizophrenia is discussed.

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