Medial-frontal cortex hypometabolism in chronic phencyclidine exposed rats assessed by high resolution magic angle spin 11.7 T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) clinical studies of patients with schizophrenia document prefrontal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) reductions, suggesting an effect of the disease or of antipsychotic medications. We studied in the rat the effect of prolonged exposure to a low-dose of the NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist phencyclidine (PCP) on levels of NAA, glutamate and glutamine in several brain regions where metabolite reductions have been reported in chronically medicated patients with schizophrenia.Two groups of ten rats each were treated with PCP (2.58 mg/kg/day) or vehicle and were sacrificed after 1 month treatment. Concentrations of neurochemicals were determined with high resolution magic angle (HR-MAS) (1)H-MRS at 11.7 T in ex vivo punch biopsies from the medial frontal and cingulate cortex, striatum, nucleus accumbens, amygdala and ventral hippocampus.PCP treatment reduced NAA, glutamate, glycine, aspartate, creatine, lactate and GABA in medial frontal cortex. In the nucleus accumbens, PCP reduced levels of NAA, aspartate and glycine; similarly aspartate and glycine were reduced in the striatum. Finally the amygdala and hippocampus had elevations in glutamine and choline, respectively.Low-dose PCP in rats models prefrontal NAA and glutamate reductions documented in chronically-ill schizophrenia patients. Chronic glutamate NMDA receptor blockade in rats replicates an endophenotype in schizophrenia and may contribute to the prefrontal hypometabolic state in schizophrenia.Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012