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Sunday 01 January 2006

The effects of ziprasidone on regional c-Fos expression in the rat forebrain.

By: Jennings CA, Cluderay JE, Gartlon J, Cilia J, Lloyd A, Jones DN, Southam E.

Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2006 Jan;184(1):13-20

RATIONALE: Typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs produce characteristic patterns of immediate early gene expression in rat forebrain that are considered to reflect their effects in schizophrenia subjects. OBJECTIVE: To use c-Fos immunohistochemistry to investigate the functional neuroanatomical profile of the newly introduced atypical agent ziprasidone. MATERIALS AND METHODS: c-Fos immunohistochemistry was performed on paraformaldehyde-fixed cryosections of rat brains obtained, initially, from animals 2, 4, or 6 h after oral administration of 10 mg/kg ziprasidone or vehicle and, subsequently, from animals 2 h after oral administration of 1, 3, or 10 mg/kg ziprasidone or vehicle. The density of immunoreactive nuclei was assessed in pre-determined forebrain regions. RESULTS: Ziprasidone induced a time-dependent increase in the density of c-Fos-positive nuclei that was maximal at 2 h. At the 2 h time-point, c-Fos expression was significantly (p<0.05) elevated in the shell and core of the nucleus accumbens, lateral and medial caudate putamen, and lateral septum. At 4 h post-dose, c-Fos expression was also significantly increased in the cingulate gyrus. Ziprasidone-induced c-Fos expression was dose-dependent with significant (p<0.05) c-Fos expression observed in the nucleus accumbens (shell and core) and caudate putamen (lateral and medial) at 3 and 10 mg/kg and in the lateral septum at 10 mg/kg. CONCLUSIONS: Increased c-Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens and lateral septum is considered to be predictive of activity against positive symptoms, in the caudate putamen of motor side effect liability, and in the cingulate gyrus of efficacy against negative symptoms. Thus, the observed pattern of c-Fos expression induced in rat brain by ziprasidone is consistent with its reported clinical effects, namely, efficacy against positive symptoms with a therapeutic window over motor side effects and with some activity against negative symptoms.

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