Olanzapine increases allopregnanolone in the rat cerebral cortex

Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27599-7160, USA.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 10.26). 07/2000; 47(11):1000-4. DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3223(99)00305-4
Source: PubMed


The neurosteroid allopregnanolone (3alpha-hydroxy-5alpha-pregnan-20-one) has anxiolytic and anticonvulsant properties, potentiating GABA(A) receptor chloride channel function with 20-fold higher potency than benzodiazepines. Behavioral studies demonstrate that olanzapine has anxiolyticlike properties in animals, but the mechanism responsible for these effects is not clear. We examined the effect of acute olanzapine administration on cerebral cortical allopregnanolone and its relationship to serum progesterone and corticosterone levels in rats.
Male Sprague-Dawley rats were habituated to intraperitoneal (IP) saline injection for 5 days. On the day of the experiment, rats were injected with olanzapine (0, 2.5, 5.0, or 10.0 mg/kg IP, 10-11 rats per condition). Rats were sacrificed 1 hour later, and cerebral cortical allopregnanolone levels and serum progesterone and corticosterone levels were measured by radioimmunoassay.
Olanzapine increases cerebral cortical allopregnanolone up to fourfold, depending on dose. Positive correlations were observed between cerebral cortical allopregnanolone and serum progesterone levels and between cerebral cortical allopregnanolone and serum corticosterone levels.
Olanzapine-induced increases in the potent GABA(A) receptor modulator allopregnanolone may alter GABAergic neurotransmission, possibly contributing to antipsychotic efficacy. If allopregnanolone alterations are linked to psychotic symptom relief, neurosteroids may represent molecules for pharmacologic intervention.

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    • "In pregnant rats, hyperphagia and weight gain may be attributed to the higher levels of progesterone and ALLO (Douglas, 2011). Olanzapine, an antipsychotic drug with a property to induce hyperphagia and weight gain (Arjona et al., 2004), caused an elevation in ALLO levels in the cerebral cortex of rats (Marx et al., 2000). Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptors seem to mediate the effect of ALLO on feeding behavior, as ALLO positively modulates GABA-A receptors (Lambert et al., 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Allopregnanolone (ALLO), a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptor active neurosteroid, elicits hyperphagic response in rodents. Since GABA-A receptors are present on the peptidergic neurons in the hypothalamus, we were interested in finding out if ALLO and neuropeptide cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) interact and influence feeding behavior. While subcutaneous ALLO treatment, for a period of seven days produced a significant increase in food intake and body weight, pretreatment with subthreshold dose of CART (intracerebroventricular) attenuated both the effects. On the other hand, subcutaneous administration of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS; GABA-A inhibitor neurosteroid) for a period of seven days resulted in a significant reduction in food intake and body weight. These effects of DHEAS were potentiated by intracerebroventricular pretreatment with subeffective dose of CART. The brains of ALLO-treated rats were processed for the immunohistochemical analysis of CART immunoreactive elements. ALLO treatment resulted in a significant reduction in CART immunoreactivity in the hypothalamic arcuate and paraventricular nuclei, lateral hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens shell. The results of the present study suggest that ALLO and CART might interact in the brain, and influence food intake and body weight. However, further investigations are needed to clarify the precise mechanisms by which ALLO modulate feeding behavior.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Brain research
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    • "neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects (Djebaili et al., 2005; Griffin et al., 2004; Wang et al., 2005) and their levels are altered in neurodegenerative diseases (Marx et al., 2006d). The neuroactive steroid 3a,5a-THP is increased in rat plasma and brain by administration of various psychoactive drugs, including ethanol (Morrow et al., 1998), caffeine (Concas et al., 2000), nicotine (Porcu et al., 2003), tetrahydrocannabinol (Grobin et al., 2005), morphine (Concas et al., 2006; Grobin et al., 2005), antidepressants (Pisu and Serra, 2004; Uzunov et al., 1996; Uzunova et al., 1998), and certain antipsychotics like clozapine and olanzapine (Barbaccia et al., 2001; Marx et al., 2000, 2003, 2006a). "
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    ABSTRACT: Acute ethanol administration increases plasma and brain levels of progesterone and deoxycorticosterone-derived neuroactive steroids (3alpha,5alpha)-3-hydroxypregnan-20-one (3alpha,5alpha-THP) and (3alpha,5alpha)-3,21-dihydroxypregnan-20-one (3alpha,5alpha-THDOC) in rats. However, little is known about ethanol effects on GABAergic neuroactive steroids in mice, nonhuman primates, or humans. We investigated the effects of ethanol on plasma levels of 3alpha,5alpha- and 3alpha,5beta-reduced GABAergic neuroactive steroids derived from progesterone, deoxycorticosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, and testosterone using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Serum levels of GABAergic neuroactive steroids and pregnenolone were measured in male rats, C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice, cynomolgus monkeys, and humans following ethanol administration. Rats and mice were injected with ethanol (0.8 to 2.0 g/kg), cynomolgus monkeys received ethanol (1.5 g/kg) intragastrically, and healthy men consumed a beverage containing 0.8 g/kg ethanol. Steroids were measured after 60 minutes in all species and also after 120 minutes in monkeys and humans. Ethanol administration to rats increased levels of 3alpha,5alpha-THP, 3alpha,5alpha-THDOC, and pregnenolone at the doses of 1.5 g/kg (+228, +134, and +860%, respectively, p < 0.001) and 2.0 g/kg (+399, +174, and +1125%, respectively, p < 0.001), but not at the dose of 0.8 g/kg. Ethanol did not alter levels of the other neuroactive steroids. In contrast, C57BL/6J mice exhibited a 27% decrease in serum 3alpha,5alpha-THP levels (p < 0.01), while DBA/2J mice showed no significant effect of ethanol, although both mouse strains exhibited substantial increases in precursor steroids. Ethanol did not alter any of the neuroactive steroids in cynomolgus monkeys at doses comparable to those studied in rats. Finally, no effect of ethanol (0.8 g/kg) was observed in men. These studies show clear species differences among rats, mice, and cynomolgus monkeys in the effects of ethanol administration on circulating neuroactive steroids. Rats are unique in their pronounced elevation of GABAergic neuroactive steroids, while this effect was not observed in mice or cynomolgus monkeys at comparable ethanol doses.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
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    • "This is because atypical antipsychotic drugs, and olanzapine in particular, have been shown to increase brain concentrations of endogenous neurosteroid modulators of GABA A receptors (Barbaccia et al., 2001; Marx et al., 2000; Nechmad et al., 2003). Thus augmentation of GABAergic tone through neurosteroid enhancement may be involved in antipsychotic effects exerted by olanzapine, (Marx et al., 2000; Ugale et al., 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Post-mortem studies of the human brain indicate that certain GABA(A) receptor subtypes may be differentially altered in schizophrenia. Increased binding to the total population of GABA(A) receptors using [3H]muscimol is observed in the post-mortem schizophrenic brain, yet a proportion of these receptors which bind benzodiazepines and are labelled with [3H]flunitrazepam, show decreased or unaltered expression. Data from animal studies suggest that antipsychotic drugs alter GABA(A) receptor expression in a subtype selective manner, but in the opposite direction to that observed in schizophrenia. To broaden our understanding of the effects of antipsychotic drugs on GABA(A) receptors, we examined the saturation binding maximum (B(max)) and binding affinity (K(D)) of [3H]muscimol and [3H]flunitrazepam in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus and thalamus of male SD rats that received a sucrose solution containing either haloperidol (1.5 mg/kg), olanzapine (6.5 mg/kg) or no drug daily for up to 28 days using quantitative receptor autoradiography. [3H]Muscimol binding density was increased most prominently in the PFC after 7 days, with larger and more prolonged effects being induced by the atypical antipsychotic drug olanzapine in subcortical regions. While no changes were observed in [3H]muscimol binding in any region after 28 days of drug administration, [3H]flunitrazepam binding density (B(max)) was increased for both antipsychotic treatments in the PFC only. These findings confirm that the subset of GABA(A) receptors sensitive to benzodiazepines are regulated differently from other GABA(A) receptor subtypes following antipsychotic drug administration, in a time- and region-dependent manner.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2008 · Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
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