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Accumbens D2-MSN hyperactivity drives antipsychotic-induced behavioral supersensitivity

Authors: Anna Kruyer, Jeffrey Parrilla-Carrero, Courtney Powell, Lasse Brandt, Stefan Gutwinski, Ariana Angelis, Reda M. Chalhoub, Thomas C. Jhou, Peter W. Kalivas & Davide Amato
Publication: Molecular Psychiatry
Date: August 4, 2021
Link to article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-021-01235-6#Abs1


Antipsychotic-induced dopamine supersensitivity, or behavioral supersensitivity, is a problematic consequence of long-term antipsychotic treatment characterized by the emergence of motor abnormalities, refractory symptoms, and rebound psychosis. The underlying mechanisms are unclear and no approaches exist to prevent or reverse these unwanted effects of antipsychotic treatment. Here we demonstrate that behavioral supersensitivity stems from long-lasting pre, post and perisynaptic plasticity, including insertion of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors and loss of D2 receptor-dependent inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in D2 receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons (D2-MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore). The resulting hyperexcitability, prominent in a subpopulation of D2-MSNs (21%), caused locomotor sensitization to cocaine and was associated with behavioral endophenotypes of antipsychotic treatment resistance and substance use disorder, including disrupted extinction learning and augmented cue-induced cocaine-seeking behavior. Chemogenetic restoration of IPSCs in D2-MSNs in the NAcore was sufficient to prevent antipsychotic-induced supersensitivity, pointing to an entirely novel therapeutic direction for overcoming this condition.

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