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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1998 Oct 30;61(1-2):39-50.

Clozapine and haloperidol block the induction of behavioral sensitization to amphetamine and associated genomic responses in rats.

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Neurobiology Unit (7251-209-506), Pharmacia & Upjohn, 301 Henrietta Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49001, USA.


Behavioral sensitization resulting from repeated, intermittent exposure to psychostimulants such as amphetamine (Amp) is hypothesized to model pathophysiology of psychotic disorders. The present study was designed to characterize the effects of a typical and an atypical antipsychotic drug, haloperidol and clozapine, respectively, on the induction of context-independent sensitization to Amp. Peripheral Amp treatment for five days (2 mg/kg/day, s.c.) produced an augmented stimulant response to an acute Amp challenge (2 mg/kg, s.c.) given seven days after the last pretreatment injection. Interestingly, preexposure to high doses of either clozapine (20 mg/kg) or haloperidol (0.5 mg/kg) alone also led to a sensitized behavioral response to an acute Amp challenge. The cross-sensitization between Amp and high doses of the haloperidol and clozapine may have occluded any blockade of Amp behavioral sensitization by the antipsychotics. Indeed, administration of a lower dose of clozapine (4 mg/kg) or haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg) with Amp during the preexposure phase clearly blocked the induction of behavioral sensitization. In addition to the behavioral sensitization, Amp-pretreated rats showed a reduction in the ability of the acute Amp challenge to induce c-fos mRNA in the medial prefrontal cortex and neurotensin/neuromedin N (NT/N) mRNA in the nucleus accumbens-shell. At doses that blocked the initiation of behavioral sensitization to Amp, clozapine fully and haloperidol partially restored the capacity of acute Amp to induce c-fos and NT/N gene expression. These data lend support to the psychostimulant-sensitization model of psychosis and a role of dopamine D2-like receptors in the phenomenon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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