The novel neurotensin analog NT69L blocks phencyclidine (PCP)-induced increases in locomotor activity and PCP-induced increases in monoamine and amino acids levels in the medial prefrontal cortex

Zhimin Li, Mona Boules, Katrina Williams, Joanna Peris, Elliott Richelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Schizophrenia is a life-long, severe, and disabling brain disorder that requires chronic pharmacotherapy. Because current antipsychotic drugs do not provide optimal therapy, we have been developing novel treatments that focus on receptors for the neuropeptide neurotensin (NT). NT69L, an analog of neurotensin(8-13), acts like an atypical antipsychotic drug in several dopamine-based animal models used to study schizophrenia. Another current animal model utilizes non-competitive antagonists of the NMDA/glutamate receptor, such as the psychotomimetic phencyclidine (PCP). In the present study, we investigated the effects of NT69L on PCP-induced behavioral and biochemical changes in the rat. The top of an activity chamber was modified to allow us to perform microdialysis in rat brain, while simultaneously recording the locomotor activity of a rat. PCP injection significantly increased activity as well as the extracellular concentration of norepinephrine (NE), 5-HT, dopamine (DA), and glutamate in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Pretreating with NT69L blocked the PCP-induced hyperactivity as well as the increase of DA, 5-HT, NE, and glutamate in mPFC. Interestingly and unexpectedly, NT69L markedly increased glycine levels, while PCP was without effect on glycine levels. Thus, NT69L showed antipsychotic-like effects in this glutamate-based animal model for studying schizophrenia. Previous work from our group suggests that NT69L also has antipsychotic-like effects in dopaminergic and serotonergic rodent models. Taken together, these data suggest that NT69L in particular and NT receptor agonists in general, will be useful as broad-spectrum antipsychotic drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Jan 22 2010



  • Glutamate
  • Glycine
  • Medial prefrontal cortex
  • Monoamine
  • NT69L
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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