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Effects of clozapine plus lamotrigine on phencyclidine-induced hyperactivity.

Author(s): Williams HJ, Zamzow CR, Robertson H, Dursun SM

Affiliation(s): Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4H7.

Publication date & source: 2006-03, Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry., 30(2):239-43. Epub 2005 Nov 21.

There is growing evidence from both uncontrolled and controlled clinical studies that lamotrigine (LTG) significantly augments clozapine (CLZ) in the treatment of refractory schizophrenia (RS) [Dursun, S.M., McIntosh, D., Milliken, H., 1999. Clozapine plus lamotrigine in treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 56, 950; Dursun, S.M., Deakin, J.F.W., 2001. Augmenting antipsychotic treatment with lamotrigine or topiramate in patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia: a naturalistic case-series outcome study. J. Psychopharmacol. 15, 297-301; Tiihonen, J., Hallikainen, T., Ryynanen, O.P., Repo-Tiihonen, E., Kotilinen, I., Eronen, M., Toivonen, P., Wahlbeck, K., Putkonen, A., 2003. Lamotrigine in treatment-resistant schizophrenia; a randomized placebo-controlled cross over trial. Biol. Psychiatry 54, 1241-1248; Kremer, I., Vass, A., Gorelik, I., Bar, G., Blanaru, M., Javitt, D.C., Heresco-Levy, U., 2004. Placebo-controlled trial of lamotrigine added to conventional and atypical antipsychotics in schizophrenia. Biol. Psychiatry. 56, 441-446]. However, the precise mechanism of action of this synergistic augmentation between clozapine and lamotrigine remains unclear. Therefore, the goal of this research is to explore the mechanism of action of this synergistic interaction between CLZ and LTG, utilizing a pharmacological animal model of schizophrenia by using phencyclidine (PCP). The effects of CLZ plus LTG were assessed by measuring PCP-induced hyper-locomotion and stereotyped behaviours in rats. Adult male rats (250-300 g) were pre-treated via intra-peritoneal (i.p.) injection with vehicle or drug 30 min before a PCP (5 mg/kg) or saline challenge. The behaviours were recorded and analysed for a 90-min period using the Etho Vision-computer based system. PCP produced hyper-locomotion, which was maximal at 30 min. LTG (10 mg/kg) significantly increased hyperlocomotion induced with PCP. However, a combination treatment of CLZ (5 mg/kg) plus LTG (10 mg/kg) significantly blocked the potentiation of PCP-induced hyper-locomotion observed with LTG (10 mg/kg) alone. Furthermore, the PCP-induced locomotion in the combination CLZ plus LTG-treated rats was significantly decreased when compared to vehicle. Therefore, LTG at doses that do not induce ataxia enhanced PCP-induced hyper-locomotion in rats, whereas the combination of LTG and CLZ significantly decreased PCP-induced hyper-locomotion consistent with clinical data.

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