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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1999 Sep;290(3):1393-408.

Characterization of MK-801-induced behavior as a putative rat model of psychosis.

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Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.


The objective of this study was to characterize the behavior induced by the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist MK-801 (dizocilpine maleate) in rats as a model of psychosis. The temporal profile, dose dependence, age, and sex differences of the behavior are described. A gas chromatographic method for the analysis of MK-801 in plasma and brain was developed. Female rats showed 4 to 10 times more MK-801-induced behavior and displayed around 25 times higher serum and brain concentrations of MK-801 than male rats. Twenty-one neuroactive compounds, including a number of excitatory amino acid-active substances, were tested for the effect on MK-801-induced behavior. Neuroleptics blocked MK-801-induced behavior in a dose-dependent manner that correlated to their antipsychotic potency in humans. Adenosine receptor agonists and an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-associated glycine site antagonist showed putative antipsychotic effects. In conclusion, MK-801-induced behavior represents a rat excitatory amino acid hypofunction model of psychosis that appears to be of clinical relevance and may be of value in the search for new antipsychotic agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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