Subanesthetic ketamine with an AMPAkine attenuates motor impulsivity in rats

Brionna D. Davis-Reyes, Ashley Smith, Jimin Xu, Kathryn A. Cunningham, Jia Zhou, Noelle C. Anastasio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The concept of 'impulse control' has its roots in early psychiatry and today has progressed into a well-described, although poorly understood, multidimensional endophenotype underlying many neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, substance use disorders). There is mounting evidence suggesting that the cognitive and/or behavioral dimensions underlying impulsivity are driven by dysfunctional glutamate (Glu) neurotransmission via targeted ionotropic Glu receptor (GluR) [e.g., N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR), α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR)] mechanisms and associated synaptic alterations within key brain nodes. Ketamine, a noncompetitive NMDAR antagonist and FDA-approved for treatment-resistant depression, induces a 'glutamate burst' that drives resculpting of the synaptic milieu, which lasts for several days to a week. Thus, we hypothesized that single and repeated treatment with a subanesthetic ketamine dose would normalize motor impulsivity. Next, we hypothesized that AMPAR positive allosteric modulation, alone or in combination with ketamine, would attenuate impulsivity and provide insight into the mechanisms underlying GluR dysfunction relevant to motor impulsivity. To measure motor impulsivity, outbred male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained on the one-choice serial reaction time task. Rats pretreated with single or repeated (3 days) administration of ketamine (10 mg/kg; i.p.; 24-h pretreatment) or with the AMPAkine HJC0122 (1 or 10 mg/kg; i.p.; 30-min pretreatment) exhibited lower levels of motor impulsivity vs. control. Combination of single or repeated ketamine plus HJC0122 also attenuated motor impulsivity vs. control. We conclude that ligands designed to promote GluR signaling represent an effective pharmacological approach to normalize impulsivity and subsequently, neuropsychiatric disorders marked by aberrant impulse control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-344
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • AMPA receptor PAM
  • AMPAkine
  • NMDA receptor
  • ketamine
  • motor impulsivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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