Previous preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of group II metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonists as potential antipsychotics. Recent studies utilizing mGluR2-, mGluR3-, and double knockout mice support that the antipsychotic effects of those compounds are mediated by mGluR2. Indeed, biphenyl indanone-A (BINA), an allosteric potentiator of mGluR2, is effective in experimental models of psychosis, blocking phencyclidine (PCP)-induced hyperlocomotion and prepulse inhibition deficits in mice. In this study, we administered the NMDA receptor antagonist PCP (5.6 mg/kg i.p.) to rats, an established animal model predictive of schizophrenia. Here, we show that BINA (32 mg/kg i.p.) attenuated PCP-induced locomotor activity in rats. Using behaviorally relevant doses of BINA and PCP, we performed pharmacological magnetic resonance imaging (phMRI) to assess the specific brain regions that underlie the psychotomimetic effects of PCP, and examined how BINA modulated the PCP-induced functional changes in vivo. In anesthetized rats, acute administration of PCP produced robust, sustained blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) activation in specific cortical, limbic, thalamic, and striatal regions. Pretreatment with BINA suppressed the amplitude of the BOLD response to PCP in the prefrontal cortex, caudaute-putamen, nucleus accumbens, and mediodorsal thalamus. Our results show key brain structures underlying PCP-induced behaviors in a preclinical model of schizophrenia, and, importantly, its reversal by potentiation of mGluR2 by BINA, revealing specific brain regions functionally involved in its pharmacological action. Finally, our findings bolster the growing body of evidence that mGluR2 is a viable target for the treatment of schizophrenia.
2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.