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Prior haloperidol, but not olanzapine, exposure augments the pursuit of reward cues: implications for substance abuse in schizophrenia.


ABSTRACT: Drug abuse and addiction are excessively common in schizophrenia. Chronic antipsychotic treatment might contribute to this comorbidity by inducing supersensitivity within the brain's dopamine system. Dopamine supersensitivity can enhance the incentive motivational properties of reward cues, and reward cues contribute to the maintenance and severity of drug addiction. We have shown previously that rats withdrawn from continuous haloperidol (HAL) treatment (via subcutaneous minipump) develop dopamine supersensitivity and pursue reward cues more vigorously than HAL-naive rats following an amphetamine (AMPH) challenge. Atypical antipsychotic drugs are thought to be less likely than typicals to produce dopamine supersensitivity. Thus, we compared the effects of HAL and the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine (OLZ) on the pursuit of reward cues. Rats were trained to associate a light-tone cue with water then treated with HAL or OLZ. Following antipsychotic withdrawal, we assessed AMPH-induced enhancement of lever pressing for the cue. Withdrawal from HAL, but not from OLZ, enhanced this effect. HAL, but not OLZ, also enhanced AMPH-induced psychomotor activation and c-fos mRNA expression in the caudate-putamen. Thus, prior HAL, but not OLZ, enhanced conditioned reward following an AMPH challenge, and this was potentially linked to enhanced behavioral sensitivity to AMPH and AMPH-induced engagement of the caudate-putamen. These findings suggest that HAL, but not an atypical like OLZ, modifies reward circuitry in ways that increase responsiveness to reward cues. Because enhanced responsiveness to reward cues can promote drug-seeking behavior, it should be investigated whether atypical antipsychotics might be a preferential option in schizophrenic patients at risk for drug abuse or addiction.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3627770 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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