Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Bay-Richter C, O┐Tuathaigh CM, O┐Sullivan G, Heery DM, Waddington JL, Moran PM ;
International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Enhanced latent inhibition in dopamine receptor-deficient mice is sex-specific for the D1 but not D2 receptor subtype: implications for antipsychotic drug action
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Latent inhibition (LI) is reduced learning to a stimulus that has previously been experienced without consequence. It is an important model of abnormal allocation of salience to irrelevant information in patients with schizophrenia. In rodents LI is abolished by psychotomimetic drugs and in experimental conditions where LI is low in controls, its expression is enhanced by antipsychotic drugs with activity at dopamine (DA) receptors. It is however unclear what the independent contributions of DA receptor subtypes are to these effects. This study therefore examined LI in congenic DA D1 and D2 receptor knockout (D1 KO and D2 KO) mice. Conditioned suppression of drinking was used as the measure of learning in the LI procedure. Both male and female DA D2 KO mice showed clear enhancement of LI reproducing antipsychotic drug effects in the model. Unexpectedly, enhancement was also seen in D1 KO female mice but not in D1 KO male mice. This sex-specific pattern was not replicated in locomotor or motor coordination tasks nor in the effect of DA KOs on baseline learning in control groups indicating some specificity of the effect to LI. These data suggest that the dopaminergic mechanism underlying LI potentiation and possibly antipsychotic action may differ between the sexes, being mediated by D2 receptors in males but by both D1 and D2 receptors in females. These data suggest that the DA D1 receptor may prove an important target for understanding sex differences in the mechanisms of action of antipsychotic drugs and in the aetiology of aberrant salience allocation in schizophrenia.

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