The Effects of Adulthood Olanzapine Treatment on Cognitive Performance and Neurotrophic Factor Content in Male and Female Rats Neonatally Treated with Quinpirole

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Male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were administered quinpirole (1 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline once daily from postnatal day (P)1 to P21. This drug treatment has been shown to produce long-term priming of the D2 receptor. Beginning on P62, rats were administered the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine (2.5 mg/kg) or saline twice daily (i.p.) for 28 days. One day after olanzapine treatment ceased, rats were tested on the place and match-to-place versions of the Morris water maze (MWM) for seven consecutive days. Dopamine D2 receptor priming was verified through a yawning behavioural test, a D2 receptor-mediated event, before olanzapine was administered as well as after olanzapine treatment and behavioural testing were complete. Results showed that neonatal quinpirole treatment induced D2 priming that was eliminated by olanzapine treatment. On the MWM place version, D2-primed rats demonstrated a significant impairment that was eliminated by olanzapine treatment, but olanzapine treatment to animals neonatally treated with saline produced a significant deficit on the place version of the MWM. There were no significant deficits on the match-to-place version. Brain tissue analyses revealed that neonatal quinpirole treatment produced a significant decrease in hippocampal NGF, BDNF and ChAT that was eliminated by olanzapine treatment. Neonatal quinpirole treatment produced a significant decrease in BDNF and ChAT in the frontal cortex that was unaffected by olanzapine treatment. These results show that olanzapine eliminates D2 receptor priming and cognitive impairment and also alleviates decreases in neurotrophins and acetylcholinergic markers produced by D2 priming in the hippocampus.