Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

Blonanserin ameliorates phencyclidine-induced visual-recognition memory deficits: the complex mechanism of blonanserin action involving D₃-5-HT₂A and D₁-NMDA receptors in the mPFC.

PMID 25120077


Blonanserin differs from currently used serotonin 5-HT₂A/dopamine-D₂ receptor antagonists in that it exhibits higher affinity for dopamine-D₂/₃ receptors than for serotonin 5-HT₂A receptors. We investigated the involvement of dopamine-D₃ receptors in the effects of blonanserin on cognitive impairment in an animal model of schizophrenia. We also sought to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying this involvement. Blonanserin, as well as olanzapine, significantly ameliorated phencyclidine (PCP)-induced impairment of visual-recognition memory, as demonstrated by the novel-object recognition test (NORT) and increased extracellular dopamine levels in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). With blonanserin, both of these effects were antagonized by DOI (a serotonin 5-HT₂A receptor agonist) and 7-OH-DPAT (a dopamine-D₃ receptor agonist), whereas the effects of olanzapine were antagonized by DOI but not by 7-OH-DPAT. The ameliorating effect was also antagonized by SCH23390 (a dopamine-D₁ receptor antagonist) and H-89 (a protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor). Blonanserin significantly remediated the decrease in phosphorylation levels of PKA at Thr(197) and of NR1 (an essential subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors) at Ser(897) by PKA in the mPFC after a NORT training session in the PCP-administered mice. There were no differences in the levels of NR1 phosphorylated at Ser(896) by PKC in any group. These results suggest that the ameliorating effect of blonanserin on PCP-induced cognitive impairment is associated with indirect functional stimulation of the dopamine-D₁-PKA-NMDA receptor pathway following augmentation of dopaminergic neurotransmission due to inhibition of both dopamine-D₃ and serotonin 5-HT₂A receptors in the mPFC.