Acute administration of neuroleptic drugs alters the extracellular level of ascorbate in the neostriatum, and increasing evidence suggests a role for this vitamin in the behavioral, and possibly therapeutic, effects of these drugs. To shed further light on this issue, extracellular ascorbate was recorded in the neostriatum and nucleus accumbens of awake, behaving rats following chronic treatment with either classical (haloperidol) or atypical (clozapine) neuroleptics or ascorbate itself. Electrochemically modified, carbon-fiber microelectrodes were lowered in place the day after the last of 21 daily injections of either haloperidol (0.5 mg/kg, SC), clozapine (20 mg/kg, IP), sodium ascorbate (500 mg/kg, IP) or vehicle. Voltammetric measurements were obtained during quiet rest and following administration of d-amphetamine (2.5 mg/kg). Repeated treatment with either haloperidol or ascorbate elevated basal extracellular ascorbate and potentiated the amphetamine-induced increase in ascorbate release in neostriatum but not nucleus accumbens. Both treatment groups also showed a significant increase in amphetamine-induced sniffing and repetitive head movements compared to vehicle-treated animals. In contrast, repeated clozapine had no effect on extracellular ascorbate in either neostriatum or nucleus accumbens, but increased the locomotor response to an amphetamine challenge. Thus, to the extent that increases in neostriatal ascorbate exert neuroleptic-like effects, such effects are likely to parallel haloperidol rather than clozapine.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nucleus accumbens