Aripiprazole,7-(4-[4-(2,3-dichlorophenyl)-1-piperazinyl]butyloxy)-3,4-dihydro-carbostycil (OPC-14597), a novel atypical antipsychotic drug, is a dopamine D2 receptor partial agonist with functional 5-HT2A receptor antagonist, and 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist properties as well. Other atypical antipsychotic drugs, e.g. clozapine, but not typical antipsychotic drugs, e.g. haloperidol, produce significant increases in dopamine and acetylcholine release in the medial prefrontal cortex in rats, effects believed to be related to the ability to improve cognitive function. The increase in the medial prefrontal cortex dopamine release by the atypical antipsychotic drugs has been shown to be partially inhibited by N-[2[4-)2-methoxyl)-1-piperazinyl]ethyl]-N-(2-pyridinyl)cyclohexanecarboxamide trihydrochloride (WAY100635), a selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist. Aripiprazole, 0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg, significantly increased dopamine release in the hippocampus. Moreover, aripiprazole, 0.3 mg/kg, slightly but significantly increased dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex but not in the nucleus accumbens. These increases were significantly inhibited by WAY100635. By contrast, aripiprazole, 3.0 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg, significantly decreased dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens but not the medical prefrontal cortex. However, aripiprazole 10 mg/kg significantly decreased dopamine release in the both regions. Aripiprazole had no effect on acetylcholine release in the medial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, or nucleus accumbens at any dose, except for 3.0 mg/kg, which decreased acetylcholine release in the nucleus accumbens only. Aripiprazole, 0.3 mg/kg, transiently potentiated haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg)-induced dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex but inhibited that in the nucleus accumbens. The present study demonstrated that aripiprazole, at low doses of 0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg, increases dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. It also suggests that the function of both the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus may contribute to the ability of aripiprazole to improve negative symptom and cognition.
Copyright 2004 Elsevier B.V.