Publication Details

De Santis, M., Lian, J., Huang, X. & Deng, C. (2016). Early antipsychotic treatment in childhood/adolescent period has long-term effects on depressive-like, anxiety-like and locomotor behaviours in adult rats. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30 (2), 204-214.


Childhood/adolescent antipsychotic drug (APD) use is exponentially increasing worldwide, despite limited knowledge of the long-term effects of early APD treatment. Whilst investigations have found that early treatment has resulted in some alterations to dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission systems (essential to APD efficacy), there have only been limited studies into potential long-term behavioural changes. This study, using an animal model for childhood/adolescent APD treatment, investigated the long-term effects of aripiprazole, olanzapine and risperidone on adult behaviours of male and female rats. Open-field/holeboard, elevated plus maze (EPM), social interaction and forced swim (FS) tests were then conducted in adult rats. Our results indicated that in the male cohort, early risperidone and olanzapine treatment elicited long-term hyper-locomotor effects (open-field/holeboard and FS tests), whilst a decrease in depressive-like behaviour (in FS test) was observed in response to olanzapine treatment. Furthermore, anxiolytic-like behaviours were found following testing in the open-field/holeboard and EPM in response to all three drug treatments. Effects in the female cohort, however, were to a far lesser extent, with behavioural attributes indicative of an increased depressive-like behaviour and hypo-locomotor activity exhibited in the FS test following early risperidone and olanzapine treatment. These results suggest that various APDs have different long-term effects on the behaviours of adult rats.

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