, Volume 136, Issue 2, pp 153-161

Olanzapine increases in vivo dopamine and norepinephrine release in rat prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens and striatum

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The in vivo effects of olanzapine on the extracellular monoamine levels in rat prefrontal cortex (Pfc), nucleus accumbens (Acb) and striatum (Cpu) were investigated by means of microdialysis. Sequential doses of olanzapine at 0.5, 3 and 10 mg/kg (SC) dose-dependently increased the extracellular dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) levels in all three brain areas. The increases appeared 30 min after olanzapine administration, reached peaks around 60–90 min and lasted for at least 2 h. The highest DA increases in the Acb and Cpu were induced by olanzapine at 3 mg/kg but at 10 mg/kg in the Pfc. The peak DA increase in the Pfc (421% ± 46 of the baseline) was significantly larger than those in the Acb (287% ± 24) and Cpu (278% ± 28). Similarly, the highest NE increase in the Pfc (414%±40) induced by 10 mg/kg olanzapine was larger than those in the Acb (233% ± 39) and Cpu (223% ± 24). The DA and NE increases in the Pfc induced by olanzapine at 3 and 10 mg/kg (SC) were slightly larger than those induced by clozapine at the same doses. In contrast, haloperidol (0.5 and 2 mg/kg, SC) did not change Pfc DA and NE levels. Extracellular levels of a DA metabolite, DOPAC, and tissue concentrations of a released DA metabolite, 3-methoxytyramine, were also increased by olanzapine, consistent with enhanced DA release. However, olanzapine at the three sequential doses did not alter the extracellular levels of either 5-HT or its metabolite, 5-HIAA, in any of the three brain areas. In conclusion, the present studies demonstrate that in the case of sequential dosing olanzapine more effectively enhances DA and NE release in the Pfc than in the subcortical areas, which may have an impact on its atypical antipsychotic actions.

Received: 7 May 1997/Final version: 15 September 1997