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Saturday 01 March 2003

The atypical antipsychotic ziprasidone, but not haloperidol, improves phencyclidine-induced cognitive deficits in a reversal learning task in the rat.

By: Abdul-Monim Z, Reynolds GP, Neill JC.

J Psychopharmacol 2003 Mar;17(1):57-65

The glutamate/N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist phencyclidine (PCP) has been shown to induce both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, as well as cognitive deficits, thus providing a relatively valid model of psychosis. Isolation rearing from weaning in the rat has been proposed as a non-pharmacological model of psychosis. The aim of the present study was to explore the validity of a combination of these techniques to model cognitive dysfunction associated with schizophrenia. The present study evaluates the effects of the novel antipsychotic ziprasidone and the typical antipsychotic haloperidol in their ability to reverse the cognitive deficit induced by PCP in isolation reared rats and social controls. Rats housed in social isolation (n = 25) or in groups of five (n = 25) from weaning were food deprived and trained to respond for food in an operant reversal learning paradigm. PCP at 1.0 and 1.5 mg/kg (intraperitoneally, i.p.) significantly and selectively impaired reversal task performance in both groups of rats. This impairment was not significantly improved following the coadministration of haloperidol (0.05 mg/kg, i.p.). Higher haloperidol doses (0.1 and 0.25 mg/kg, i.p.) were found to impair task performance, with the social animals being more sensitive than isolation-reared animals. In contrast, ziprasidone (2.5 mg/kg, i.p.) reversed the impairment caused by PCP. This was significant in social animals, while in isolates there was a non-significant enhancement in performance of the reversal task with ziprasidone compared to PCP alone. Thus, PCP produced a selective reversal learning deficit in rats, which was ameliorated following treatment with ziprasidone but not haloperidol. Rearing conditions did not influence performance of the test or the deficit produced by PCP.

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