Differential Effects of Aripiprazole on Electroencephalography-Recorded Gamma-Band Auditory Steady-State Response, Spontaneous Gamma Oscillations and Behavior in a Schizophrenia Rat Model

Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Jan 14;25(2):1035. doi: 10.3390/ijms25021035.


The available antipsychotics for schizophrenia (SZ) only reduce positive symptoms and do not significantly modify SZ neurobiology. This has raised the question of the robustness and translational value of methods employed during drug development. Electroencephalography (EEG)-based measures like evoked and spontaneous gamma oscillations are considered robust translational biomarkers as they can be recorded in both patients and animal models to probe a key mechanism underlying all SZ symptoms: the excitation/inhibition imbalance mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) hypofunction. Understanding the effects of commercialized atypical antipsychotics on such measures could therefore contribute to developing better therapies for SZ. Yet, the effects of such drugs on these EEG readouts are unknown. Here, we studied the effect of the atypical antipsychotic aripiprazole on the gamma-band auditory steady-state response (ASSR), spontaneous gamma oscillations and behavioral features in a SZ rat model induced by the NMDAr antagonist MK-801. Interestingly, we found that aripiprazole could not normalize MK-801-induced abnormalities in ASSR, spontaneous gamma oscillations or social interaction while it still improved MK-801-induced hyperactivity. Suggesting that aripiprazole is unable to normalize electrophysiological features underlying SZ symptoms, our results might explain aripiprazole's inefficacy towards the social interaction deficit in our model but also its limited efficacy against social symptoms in patients.

Keywords: NMDAr hypofunction; aripiprazole; drug development; gamma-band ASSR; schizophrenia; spontaneous gamma oscillations.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antipsychotic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Aripiprazole / pharmacology
  • Dizocilpine Maleate / pharmacology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Rats
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Schizophrenia* / drug therapy


  • Aripiprazole
  • Dizocilpine Maleate
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate

Grants and funding

This research and the APC were founded by Biotrial, France.