The Adenosine A(2A) Receptor Agonist CGS 21680 Alleviates Auditory Sensorimotor Gating Deficits and Increases in Accumbal CREB in Rats Neonatally Treated With Quinpirole

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Rationale and objective: The adenosine A(2A) receptor forms a mutually inhibitory heteromer with the dopamine D2 receptor, and A(2A) agonists decrease D2 signaling. This study analyzed whether an adenosine A(2A) agonist would alleviate deficits in sensorimotor gating and increases in cyclic-AMP response element binding protein (CREB) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in the neonatal quinpirole model of schizophrenia (SZ). Methods: Male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were neonatally treated with saline (NS) or quinpirole HCl (NQ; 1 mg/kg) from postnatal days (P) 1–21. Animals were raised to P44 and behaviorally tested on auditory sensorimotor gating as measured through prepulse inhibition (PPI) from P44 to P48. Approximately 15 min before each session, animals were given an ip administration of saline or the adenosine A(2A) agonist CGS 21680 (0.03 or 0.09 mg/kg). One day after PPI was complete on P49, animals were administered a locomotor activity test in the open field after saline or CGS 21680 treatment, respectively. On P50, the nucleus accumbens (NAc) was evaluated for CREB protein. Results: NQ-treated rats demonstrated a deficit in PPI that was alleviated to control levels by either dose of CGS 21680. The 0.03 mg/kg dose of CGS 21680 increased startle amplitude in males. The 0.09 mg/kg dose of CGS 21680 resulted in an overall decrease in locomotor activity. NQ treatment significantly increased NAc CREB that was attenuated to control levels by either dose of CGS 21680. Conclusions: This study revealed that an adenosine A(2A) receptor agonist was effective to alleviate PPI deficits in the NQ model of SZ in both male and female rats.