The NMDA Receptor Competitive Antagonist CPP Modulates Benzodiazepine Tolerance and DiscontinuationKoff J.M. · Pritchard G.A. · Greenblatt D.J. · Miller L.G.
Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass., USA
Benzodiazepine discontinuation is characterized by a syndrome of increased activity and reduced seizure threshold that is similar to effects mediated by the glutamatergic system. To elucidate the involvement of the glutamatergic system in benzodiazepine tolerance and discontinuation, we administered lorazepam, the NMDA antagonist CPP, and the combination of these compounds either concomitantly or consecutively to mice via osmotic pumps and evaluated pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure threshold, open-field activity, and benzodiazepine receptor binding during and after chronic administration. Animals receiving lorazepam alone developed partial tolerance at 7 days and complete tolerance at 14 days to the anticonvulsant effects of lorazepam. This effect was partly attenuated by CPP coadministration with lorazepam. This combination produced only partial tolerance. A reduction in seizure threshold was observed 4 days after discontinuation of lorazepam alone. This effect was abolished by coadministration of CPP with lorazepam and by CPP administration during the withdrawal period. Benzodiazepine binding in most structures examined was significantly reduced at 14 days during chronic lorazepam administration (versus 1 day), and coadministration of CPP did not alter this decrement. After lorazepam discontinuation, binding was increased at 4 and 7 days versus chronically treated animals and versus vehicle within the cerebral cortex. This effect was abolished by coadministration of CPP as well as by CPP administration during the lorazepam withdrawal period. These data support the involvement of the glutamatergic system in benzodiazepine tolerance and discontinuation.
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