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Effects of risperidone, clozapine and the 5-HT6 antagonist GSK-742457 on PCP-induced deficits in reversal learning in the two-lever operant task in male Sprague Dawley rats

: Bruin, N.M.W.J. de; Drimmelen, M. van; Kops, M.; Elk, J. van; Middelveld-van de Wetering, M.; Schwienbacher, I.


Behavioural brain research 244 (2013), pp.15-28
ISSN: 0166-4328
ISSN: 1872-7549
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IME ()

Reasoning and problem solving deficits have been reported in schizophrenic patients. In the present study, we have tested rats in a two-lever reversal learning task in a Skinner box to model these deficits. In other studies using the Skinner box, atypical antipsychotics fully reversed phencyclidine (PCP)-induced impairments in reversal learning which is in contrast to clinical observations where antipsychotics lack the ability to fully reverse cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. Therefore, it can be argued that the outcome of these tests may lack predictive value. In the present study, after training on a spatial discrimination between two levers, rats were exposed to a reversal of the previously learned stimulus-response contingency during 5 days. We first investigated the effects of sub-chronic treatment with the non-competitive N-methyl-o-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists dizocilpine (MK-801) and PCP on reversal learning and extinction in male Sprague Dawley rats. Subsequently, we studied the effects of different PCP treatment regimes. Then, we investigated whether the atypical antipsychotics risperidone and clozapine and the 5-hydroxytryptamine(6) (5-HT6) antagonist GSK-742457 could reverse the PCP-induced deficits. All drugs were administered subcutaneously (s.c.). MK-801 did not impair reversal learning, while PCP (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg) induced a clear deficit in reversal learning. Both compounds, however, disrupted extinction at all tested doses. Risperidone and clozapine were both ineffective in significantly ameliorating the PCP-induced deficit in reversal learning which fits well with the clinical observations. The lowest dose of clozapine (1.25 mg/kg) had an intermediate effect in ameliorating the deficit in reversal learning induced by PCP (not different from control or PCP-treated rats). The lowest dose of GSK-742457 (0.63 mg/kg) fully reversed the PCP-induced deficits while the higher dose (5.0 mg/kg) had an intermediate effect.