Rationale: In schizophrenia patients, optimal treatment with antipsychotics requires weeks to months of sustained drug therapy. However, single administration of antipsychotic drugs can reverse schizophrenia-like behavioral alterations in rodent models of psychosis. This raises questions about the physiological relevance of such antipsychotic-like activity. Objective: This study evaluates the effects of chronic treatment with clozapine on the cellular and behavioral responses induced by the hallucinogenic serotonin 5-HT 2A receptor agonist lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) as a mouse model of psychosis. Method: Mice were treated chronically (21 days) with 25 mg/kg/day clozapine. Experiments were conducted 1, 7, 14, and 21 days after the last clozapine administration. [3H]Ketanserin binding and 5-HT 2A mRNA expression were determined in mouse somatosensory cortex. Head-twitch behavior, expression of c-fos, which is induced by all 5-HT 2A agonists, and expression of egr-1 and egr-2, which are LSD-like specific, were assayed. Results: Head-twitch response was decreased and [ 3H]ketanserin binding was downregulated in 1, 7, and 14 days after chronic clozapine. 5-HT 2A mRNA was reduced 1 day after chronic clozapine. Induction of c-fos, but not egr-1 and egr-2, was rescued 7 days after chronic clozapine. These effects were not observed after short treatment (2 days) with clozapine or chronic haloperidol (1 mg/kg/day). Conclusion: Our findings provide a murine model of chronic atypical antipsychotic drug action and suggest downregulation of the 5-HT2A receptor as a potential mechanism involved in these persistent therapeutic-like effects.
- Hallucinogenic drugs
- Mouse models