Compared with first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs), second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) seem to be neuroprotective and trigger neuroplasticity. Because neuroplasticity is regulated by a variety of neurotrophic factors we studied differential effects of haloperidol (HAL, a FGA) and olanzapine (OLZ, a SGA) on temporal expression of erythropoietin (EPO), a potent neuroprotective factor and its receptor (EPOr) in rat brain. Rats (8-10/group) were treated with HAL or OLZ for 14 days (HAL-14 or OLZ-14) or 45 days (HAL-45 or OLZ-45). Animals were killed by decapitation or by perfusion to collect brains for immunoblotting and immunohistochemical analysis respectively. In hippocampus, the levels of both EPO and EPOr were significantly increased in HAL-14 (p < 0.001) and OLZ-14 (p < 0.001) groups. Their levels decreased in HAL-45 compared with levels in HAL-14 (EPO, p < 0.001; EPOr, p < 0.05), whereas the levels were further increased (EPO, p < 0.05) in OLZ-45 compared with OLZ-14. In striatum, the levels of both EPO and EPOr were unchanged in HAL-14 and EPO levels significantly decreased in HAL-45 (p < 0.05), whereas their levels were significantly increased in OLZ-14 and OLZ-45 compared with the vehicle-treated control (p < 0.001). Both EPO and EPOr were primarily expressed by neurons and endothelial cells. These data suggest that SGAs such as OLZ may have neuroprotective effects through expression of EPO that may be clinically relevant for long-term safe and beneficial management of psychotic patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience