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Recently, we showed that 2-bromoterguride acted as a dopamine D2 receptor partial agonist, a serotonin 5-HT2A and α2C-adrenergic receptor antagonist, and exhibited antidopaminergic efficacy in amphetamine-induced locomotion (AIL) in rats without inducing catalepsy.
To extend our knowledge on the antipsychotic effects of 2-bromoterguride, we used convergent preclinical animal models and tests; i.e., conditioned avoidance response (CAR), predictive of antipsychotic-like effects; Fos protein expression, a molecular marker for (atypical) antipsychotic activity; wet dog shake behavior, a test for the in vivo effects of drugs acting on central 5-HT2A receptors; and investigated metabolic changes as a common side effect of atypical antipsychotic drugs (APDs).
Acute treatment with 2-bromoterguride (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg) decreased the CAR at 30, 90, and 270 min post-injection in rats without inducing escape failures at any time. Fos protein expression, as shown by Western blotting, was enhanced by 2-bromoterguride in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), the dorsolateral striatum (dStr), and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). (±)-2,5-Dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI)-induced wet dog shakes in rats were reduced by 2-bromoterguride. Chronic treatment with 2-bromoterguride did not affect metabolic parameters such as body weight development and body fat composition as well as behavioral parameters such as food intake and locomotor activity.
Our data suggest that 2-bromoterguride is a promising candidate in the treatment of schizophrenia due to its atypical antipsychotic-like activity and its inability to induce weight gain.