Chronic Effects of Antipsychotic Drugs on Pyramidal Cell Structure in Rat Anterior Cingulate Cortex: with relevance to schizophrenia

Dineshree Naiker (2009). Chronic Effects of Antipsychotic Drugs on Pyramidal Cell Structure in Rat Anterior Cingulate Cortex: with relevance to schizophrenia PhD Thesis, School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland.

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Author Dineshree Naiker
Thesis Title Chronic Effects of Antipsychotic Drugs on Pyramidal Cell Structure in Rat Anterior Cingulate Cortex: with relevance to schizophrenia
School, Centre or Institute School of Biomedical Sciences
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Associate Professor Lesley J. Bryan-Lluka
Professor Stanley V. Catts
Professor David V. Pow
Total pages 199
Total colour pages 30
Total black and white pages 169
Subjects 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Abstract/Summary Antipsychotic drugs (typical and atypical) are used in the treatment of mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Typical antipsychotic drugs (such as haloperidol) specifically target dopamine D2 receptors and produce extrapyramidal side effects. Atypical antipsychotic drugs (such as risperidone and olanzapine) primarily target dopamine D2 and serotonin 5HT2A receptors and produce fewer extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) than do the typical antipsychotic drugs at clinically effective doses (Meltzer and Nash, 1991). It has been proposed that the prefrontal cortex (a brain region implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia) is the locus of antipsychotic drug action to improve cognitive dysfunction and negative symptoms of schizophrenia (Weinberger and Lipska, 1995; Jakab and Goldman-Rakic, 1998). Moreover, it is possible that the effects in the prefrontal cortex may contribute to the differences between typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs as well as differences among atypical antipsychotic drugs (Horacek et al., 2006). The core pathology associated with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex includes reduced cerebral volume, increased ventricle size and deficits in neuronal morphology, including increased cell packing density, reduction in dendrites and its associated dendritic spines (Selemon and Goldman-Rakic, 1999). However, since most neuropathology data emerge from in vivo imaging and post-mortem studies of patients with schizophrenia, it is difficult to interpret and distinguish between findings that have an etiological or iatrogenic basis. Thus, the objective of the current study was to examine the effects of antipsychotic drugs, at therapeutically relevant concentrations, in a rat brain region that is homologous to that of the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The hypothesis upon which this study was based is that haloperidol, risperidone and olanzapine (at 65 to 80% striatal dopamine D2 receptor occupancy) induce changes to pyramidal cell architecture in the rat anterior cingulate cortex (Vogt and Gabriel, 1993; Hoover and Vertes, 2007). This hypothesis was investigated by (a) determining doses that are within the therapeutic range (65 to 80% striatal dopamine D2 receptor occupancy) by measuring the occupancy of haloperidol, risperidone and olanzapine in the presence of 3H-raclopride ( a dopamine D2 receptor antagonist) at dopamine D2 receptors in the rat striatum; and (b) examining whether therapeutic doses of antipsychotic drugs in rats cause neuropathology comparable to that observed in human post-mortem brains of patients with schizophrenia. Antipsyhcotic drug doses were selected using an appropriate in vivo dopamine D2 receptor occupancy method. The findings from this study revealed that 0.25 mg/kg/day haloperidol, 5 mg/kg/day risperidone and 10 mg/kg/day olanzapine achieved therapeutically relevant rat striatal dopamine D2 receptor occupancy in the range of 65 to 80%. To determine whether antipsychotic drugs at therapeutic doses established above induce changes in neuronal cell density and morphology; immunohistochemistry, single cell injection of lucifer yellow dye and Golgi-Cox impregnation of layer II/III pyramidal cells was performed. The results from these experiments revealed that the density of cells expressing NeuN, parvalbumin, calretinin or calbindin is highly unlikely to be affected by chronic exposure to haloperidol, risperidone and olanzapine. The current study evaluated the effects of chronic antipsychotic drug exposure on spontaneous locomotor activity of a rat in a novel environment. The purpose of this study was to differentiate between a direct and an indirect drug effect. It was found that at the doses established above, risperidone and olanzapine did not overtly reduce spontaneous locomotor activity of a rat in a novel environment relative to controls. In contrast, haloperidol reduced spontaneous locomotor activity of rat in an open field, although this was not statistically significant. Nevertheless, the data reported here allowed us to conclude that the level of activity across groups is unlikely to affect the data obtained in subsequent studies investigating the effects of chronic antipsychotic drug treatment on pyramidal cell structure. Intracellular injection of lucifer yellow dye into pyramidal cells revealed that chronic haloperidol treatment (28 days) was associated with a relative increase in basal dendritic arborisation, but neither of these drug treatments induced changes in arborisation that were different from controls. No statistically significant change in the basal dendritic arbor was detected with animals treated with risperidone relative to controls. Similarly using the Golgi-impregnation method, changes in soma size, dendritic branching, total number of branches and the density of dendritic spines in antipsychotic drug treated groups were not significantly different to controls. Taken together, this finding indicates that only relatively subtle neuritic changes may be attributed to chronic treatment with typical or atypical antipsychotic drugs administered at doses that avhieved striatal dopamine D2 receptor occupancy in the range of 65 to 80%. In summary, this study confirms that antipsychotic drugs are unlikely to induce changes to neuronal cell density or morphology in the rat anterior cingulate cortex at therapeutically relevant doses. Hence, it can be concluded that the observed neuropathology, found in the brains of patients with schizophrenia that have undergone antipsychotic drug therapy, is more likely to be caused by the disease and not the effects of the concomitant drug therapy.
Keyword Antipsychotic Drugs
Pyramidal Cell
Anterior Cingulate Cortex
Additional Notes Colour Pages: 20, 24, 34, 36, 39, 42, 49, 52, 66, 68, 75, 81, 83, 84, 95, 105, 106, 108, 112, 117, 118, 120, 121, 123, 124, 126, 127, 128, 130, 131. Landscape Pages: 48, 53-54(A3 size), 57, 81, 83, 111, 112, 120, 121, 123 Special Instructions: pages 80 - 81 side by side pages 82-83 side by side

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Created: Mon, 23 Mar 2009, 13:03:18 EST by Ms Dineshree Naiker on behalf of Library - Information Access Service