5 years ago

Alterations in glutamatergic signaling in the brain of dopamine supersensitivity psychosis and non-supersensitivity psychosis model rats

Kenji Hashimoto, Kengo Oishi, Tomihisa Niitsu, Masaomi Iyo, Yukihiko Shirayama, Masayuki Takase, Yasunori Oda, Yuko Fujita, Nobuhisa Kanahara, Yusuke Nakata



The long-term administration of antipsychotics is known to induce dopamine supersensitivity psychosis (DSP). Although the mechanism of DSP involves mainly a compensatory upregulation of dopamine D2 receptors, the precise mechanisms underlying DSP are unknown. It is known that glutamatergic signaling plays a key role in psychosis. We thus conducted this study to investigate whether glutamatergic signaling plays a role in the development of DSP.


Haloperidol (0.75 mg/kg/day for 14 days) or vehicle was administered to rats via osmotic mini-pump. Haloperidol-treated rats were divided into groups of DSP rats and non-DSP rats based on locomotion data. Tissue levels of glutamate, glutamine, glycine, L-serine, D-serine, and GABA and the protein expressions of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), and serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) in the rat brain regions were examined.


In the DSP rats, the ratio of GABA to glutamate was significantly increased. In addition, the ratio of L-serine to glycine was increased. The striatal expressions of GAD and SHMT2 in the DSP rats were significantly increased. In contrast, the striatal expression of NMDAR2B in the non-DSP rats was significantly decreased.


The present study suggests that glutamatergic signaling is relatively decreased to GABA in DSP rats. Our results also showed that excessive doses of haloperidol can induce striatal NMDAR hypofunction in non-DSP rats, which could prevent the formation of tardive dyskinesia but cause treatment resistance. In view of the need for therapeutic strategies for treatment-resistant schizophrenia, further research exploring our present findings is necessary.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-017-4695-5

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-017-4695-5

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