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2-Bromoterguride, a dopamine D2 receptor partial agonist with antagonist properties at serotonin 5-HT2A receptors and α2C-adrenoceptors, meets the prerequisites of a putative atypical antipsychotic drug (APD). We recently showed that 2-bromoterguride is effective in tests of positive symptoms of schizophrenia in rats without inducing extrapyramidal side effects or metabolic changes.
In continuation of our recent work, we now investigated the effect of 2-bromoterguride on apomorphine and phencyclidine (PCP)-induced disruptions of prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response, a measure of sensory gating. In addition, we used subchronic PCP treatment to produce cognitive deficits and social aversion, and assessed the effect of 2-bromoterguride on the performance in the novel object recognition (NOR) task (model for studying cognitive deficit symptoms of schizophrenia) and the social interaction test (model for studying negative symptoms of schizophrenia). Finally, we extended the side effect profile of 2-bromoterguride by measuring the prolactin response to systemic administration of the drug in rats.
Treatment with 2-bromoterguride (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg) reversed PPI deficits induced by apomorphine and PCP, respectively. Subchronic PCP induced impairments in object memory and social interaction behavior which were ameliorated by 2-bromoterguride but not by clozapine and aripiprazole, respectively. Prolactin concentration in blood serum was not elevated at 1, 2, or 4 h post-2-bromoterguride treatment, which further supports the safe and effective use of this drug.
Our data support 2-bromoterguride as a promising APD candidate due to its beneficial effect on cognitive impairments and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.