We investigated the effects of a schizophrenomimetic drug, phencyclidine (PCP), on substance P (SP) contents in the discrete rat brain areas using an enzyme‐immunoassay for SP. The acute intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of PCP (10 mg/kg), which is a noncompetitive antagonist of the N‐methyl‐D‐aspartate (NMDA) type glutamate receptor and a dopamine uptake inhibitor, reduced the concentration of the peptide in the prefrontal cortex, limbic forebrain, striatum, and substantia nigra, but not in the ventral tegmental area, at 60 or 120 min postinjection. A selective noncompetitive NMDA antagonist, dizocilpine hydrogen maleate ((+)‐MK‐801) (1 mg/kg, i.p.), also caused a decrease in the SP content in the prefrontal cortex and limbic forebrain but failed to alter the content in the other areas studied 30 min thereafter. Dopamine agonists, methamphetamine (4.8 mg/kg, i.p.) and apomorphine (4.4 mg/kg, i.p.), diminished the SP contents in the striatum and substantia nigra 60 min after their injection without effects in the prefrontal cortex, limbic forebrain, and ventral tegmental area. Furthermore, pretreatment with haloperidol (1 mg/kg, i.p.), a D2 preferable dopamine receptor antagonist and a typical antipsychotic, blocked the ability of PCP to decrease the SP concentrations in the substantia nigra but not in the prefrontal cortex. PCP, therefore, might diminish the SP levels by NMDA receptor‐mediated and dopamine‐independent mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex and limbic forebrain, but by NMDA receptor‐independent and dopamine‐dependent mechanisms in the striatum and substantia nigra. The haloperidol‐insensitive reduction of the frontal SP could be involved in certain neuroleptic‐resistant symptoms of PCP‐treated animals, PCP psychosis, or schizophrenia. Synapse 35:292–299, 2000. © 2000 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
Synapse – Wiley
Published: Mar 15, 2000
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