Chronic underactivity of medial frontal cortical beta2-containing nicotinic receptors increases clozapine-induced working memory impairment in female rats.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Nicotinic receptor decreases in the frontal cortex and hippocampus are important mediators of cognitive impairment in both schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Drug treatments for these diseases should take into account the impacts of compromised brain function on drug response. This study investigated the impact of compromised nicotinic receptor activity in the frontal cortex in rats on memory function. Since both Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia can involve psychosis, antipsychotic drugs are often given. The impacts of antipsychotic drugs on cognitive function have been found to be quite variable. It is the hypothesis of this and previous studies that the cognitive effects of antispychotic drugs on cognitive function depend on the integrity of brain systems involved in cognition. Previously in studies of the hippocampus, we found that chronic inhibition of beta2-containing nicotinic receptors with dihydro-beta-erythrodine (DHbetaE) impaired working memory and that this effect was attenuated by the antipsychotic drug clozapine. In contrast, chronic hippocampal alpha7 nicotinic receptor blockade with methyllycaconitine (MLA) potentiated the clozapine-induced memory impairment which is seen in rats without compromised nicotinic receptor activity. The current study determined medial frontal cortical alpha7 and beta2-containing nicotinic receptor involvement in memory and the interactions with antipsychotic drug therapy with clozapine. Chronic DHbetaE and MLA infusion effects and interactions with systemic clozapine were assessed in female rats tested for memory on the radial-arm maze. Antipsychotic drug interactions with chronic systemic nicotine were investigated because nicotinic procognitive treatment has been proposed. The same local infusion DHbetaE dose that impaired memory with hippocampal infusion did not impair memory when infused in the medial frontal cortex. Frontal DHbetaE infusion potentiated clozapine-induced memory impairment, whereas previously the memory impairment caused by hippocampal DHbetaE infusion was attenuated by clozapine. Frontal cortical MLA infusions at a dose that previously was found to potentiate the clozapine-induced memory impairment with hippocampal infusion had no significant effect when infused into the medial frontal cortex. The location and subtype of nicotinic receptor underactivity are critical determinates for clozapine effects on memory. Patients with hippocampal beta2-containing nicotinic receptor loss may be well treated with clozapine therapy, while those with frontal cortical beta2-containing receptor loss may have a potentiated memory impairment caused by clozapine.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Levin, ED; Perkins, A; Brotherton, T; Qazi, M; Berez, C; Montalvo-Ortiz, J; Davis, K; Williams, P; Christopher, NC

Published Date

  • March 17, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 296 - 302

PubMed ID

  • 19146909

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2684503

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0278-5846

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2008.12.003


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England