The mechanism underlying phencyclidine (PCP)-induced apoptosis in perinatal rats and the development of schizophrenia-like behaviors is incompletely understood. We used antagonists for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunit NR2A- and NR2B-containing NMDA receptor to test the hypothesis that the behavioral and apoptotic effects of PCP are mediated by blockade of NR1/NR2A-containing receptors, rather than NR1/NR2B-containing receptors. Sprague-Dawley rats were treated on PN7, PN9, and PN11 with PCP (10 mg/kg), PEAQX (NR2A-preferring antagonist; 10, 20, or 40 mg/kg), or ifenprodil (selective NR2B antagonist; 1, 5, or 10 mg/kg) and sacrificed for measurement of caspase-3 activity (an index of apoptosis) or allowed to age and tested for locomotor sensitization to PCP challenge on PN28-PN35. PCP or PEAQX on PN7, PN9, and PN11 markedly elevated caspase-3 activity in the cortex; ifenprodil showed no effect. Striatal apoptosis was evident only after subchronic treatment with a high dose of PEAQX (20 mg/kg). Animals treated with PCP or PEAQX on PN7, PN9, and PN11 showed a sensitized locomotor response to PCP challenge on PN28-PN35. Ifenprodil treatment had no effect on either measure. Therefore, PCP blockade of cortical NR1/NR2A, rather than NR1/NR2B, appears to be responsible for PCPinduced apoptosis and the development of long-lasting behavioral deficits.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - Nov 2009|
- Locomotor sensitization
- N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas