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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012 Mar;37(4):1057-66. doi: 10.1038/npp.2011.298. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

Selective remediation of reversal learning deficits in the neurodevelopmental MAM model of schizophrenia by a novel mGlu5 positive allosteric modulator.

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Lilly Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly & Co. Ltd, Windlesham, UK.


Based on the glutamatergic hypothesis of schizophrenia we assessed the effects of a novel mGlu5 positive allosteric modulator, LSN2463359 [N-(1-methylethyl)-5-(pyridin-4-ylethynyl)pyridine-2-carboxamide] on deficits in cognitive flexibility in two distinct rodent models of schizophrenia, the neurodevelopmental MAM E17 model and the acute PCP model. Cognitive flexibility was measured with the intra-dimensional and extra-dimensional set-shifting and reversal learning digging paradigm. Regional effects of MAM on the expression of parvalbumin-positive cells (PV) and mGlu5 receptors were also examined, to further characterize the model. Results showed that LSN2463359 selectively attenuated reversal learning deficits in the MAM but not acute PCP model. Whilst both models led to deficits in reversal learning and extra-dimensional set-shifting, the reversal impairments were qualitatively distinct, with MAM increasing perseverative responding, whereas the PCP deficit was mainly due to the inability of rats to maintain reinforced choice behavior. Reduction of PV and mGlu5 expression was found in the MAM model in several regions of importance in schizophrenia, such as the orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal cortex, which also mediate reversal learning and extra-dimensional set-shifting. The present findings confirm that the positive modulation of mGlu5 receptors may have beneficial effects in the treatment of certain aspects of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. This study also illustrates the importance of studying putative cognitive enhancing drug effects in a number of models which may have implications for the future development of the compound.

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