Chronic phenethylamine hallucinogen treatment alters behavioral sensitivity to a metabotropic glutamate 2/3 receptor agonist

Michael A. Benneyworth, Randy L. Smith, Elaine Sanders-Bush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Recent clinical studies in schizophrenic patients show that a selective agonist of group II metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors has robust efficacy in treating positive and negative symptoms. Group II mGlu receptor agonists also modulate the in vivo activity of psychotomimetic drugs, reducing the ability of psychotomimetic hallucinogens to increase glutamatergic transmission. The use of mouse models provides an opportunity to investigate the dynamic action that mGlu2/3 receptors play in regulating the behavioral effects of hallucinogen-induced glutamatergic neurotransmission using genetic as well as pharmacological strategies. The current study sought to characterize the use of the two-lever drug discrimination paradigm in ICR (CD-1) mice, using the hallucinogenic 5-HT2A/2C receptor agonist (-)-2,5-dimethoxy-4- bromoamphetamine [(-)-DOB)] as a stimulus-producing drug. The (-)-DOB discriminative stimulus was dose-dependent, generalized to the hallucinogen lysergic acid diethylamide, and was potently blocked by the 5-HT2A receptor antagonist M100907. However, contrary to our prediction, the hallucinogen-induced discriminative stimulus was not regulated by mGlu2/3 receptors. In a series of follow-up studies using hallucinogen-induced head twitch response and phencyclidine-induced hyperlocomotion, it was additionally discovered that the repeated dosing regimen required for discrimination training attenuated the behavioral effects of the mGlu2/3 receptor agonist LY379268. Furthermore chronic studies, using a 14 day (-)-DOB treatment, confirmed that repeated hallucinogen treatment causes a loss of behavioral activity of mGlu2/3 receptors, likely resulting from persistent activation of mGlu2/3 receptors by a hallucinogen-induced hyperglutamatergic state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2206-2216
Number of pages11
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Ms Kathleen Patterson for her skillful technical assistance in the completion of this research. The testing facilities, for drug discrimination and PCP hyperlocomotion studies, were provided by the Vanderbilt Murine Neurobe-havioral Core. This work was supported in part by a grant from NIDA/NIH to E. Sanders-Bush (DA05181).


  • 5-HT
  • Chronic treatment
  • Drug discrimination
  • Hallucinogen
  • Head twitch
  • mGlu2/3


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