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ABSTRACT: Although several studies have indicated that neurotensin administered acutely has several pharmacological properties common with those of antipsychotic drugs, the effects of repeated exposure to neurotensin receptor agonism have been less well characterised. Here, we investigated the effect of the novel neurotensin-(8-13) analogue NT69L [(N-methyl-Arg), Lys, Pro, L-neo-Trp, tert-Leu, Leu] in animal models sensitive to central neurotensin receptor stimulation as well as in predictive models for antipsychotic activity and motor side-effect liability. Acute injection of NT69L (0.19-6.1 micromol/kg, s.c./i.p.) caused hypothermia (>2.5 degrees C) and reduction in spontaneous locomotor activity but failed to induce catalepsy. Furthermore, NT69L (0.10 micromol/kg, s.c.) counteracted the hyperlocomotion elicited by amphetamine (0.5 mg/kg, s.c.). However, repeated injections of NT69L (0.19 micromol/kg, s.c. for 6 days, twice daily) significantly reduced its effect on spontaneous locomotor activity and completely abolished its effect on amphetamine-elicited hyperactivity. Our data obtained after single injections of NT69L indicate that this drug stimulates central neurotensin receptors after peripheral administration and collectively support the notion that neurotensin receptor agonism is associated with an attractive pre-clinical profile as regards both antipsychotic activity and motor side-effect liability. However, the present results also indicate that repeated neurotensin receptor stimulation may cause a desensitisation of neurotensin receptor mediated effects.
European Journal of Pharmacology 06/2001; 422(1-3):77-81. · 2.59 Impact Factor