Modulation of Midbrain Dopamine Neurotransmission by Serotonin, a Versatile Interaction Between Neurotransmitters and Significance for Antipsychotic Drug Action

Author(s): J. E. Olijslagers, T. R. Werkman, A. C. McCreary, C. G. Kruse, W. J. Wadman

Journal Name: Current Neuropharmacology

Volume 4 , Issue 1 , 2006

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Schizophrenia has been associated with a dysfunction of brain dopamine (DA). This, so called, DA hypothesis has been refined as new insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia have emerged. Currently, dysfunction of prefrontocortical glutamatergic and GABAergic projections and dysfunction of serotonin (5-HT) systems are also thought to play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Refinements of the DA hypothesis have lead to the emergence of new pharmacological targets for antipsychotic drug development. It was shown that effective antipsychotic drugs with a low liability for inducing extra-pyramidal side-effects have affinities for a range of neurotransmitter receptors in addition to DA receptors, suggesting that a combination of neurotransmitter receptor affinities may be favorable for treatment outcome. This review focuses on the interaction between DA and 5-HT, as most antipsychotics display affinity for 5-HT receptors. We will discuss DA/5-HT interactions at the level of receptors and G protein-coupled potassium channels and consequences for induction of depolarization blockade with specific attention to DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the substantia nigra zona compacta (SN), neurons implicated in treatment efficacy and the side-effects of schizophrenia, respectively. Moreover, it has been reported that electrophysiological interactions between DA and 5-HT show subtle, but important, differences between the SN and the VTA which could explain (in part) the effectiveness and lower propensity to induce side-effects of the newer atypical antipsychotic drugs. In that respect the functional implications of DA/5-HT interactions for schizophrenia will be discussed.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, antipsychotic drug, substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area

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Article Details

Year: 2006
Published on: 01 March, 2012
Page: [59 - 68]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/157015906775203020

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