PubMed 19098162

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: KCNQ2 , KCNQ4 , Kv7.2 , Kv7.4

Title: Antipsychotic-like effect of retigabine [N-(2-Amino-4-(fluorobenzylamino)-phenyl)carbamic acid ester], a KCNQ potassium channel opener, via modulation of mesolimbic dopaminergic neurotransmission.

Authors: Florence Sotty, Trine Damgaard, Liliana P Montezinho, Arne Mørk, Christina K Olsen, Christoffer Bundgaard, Henriette Husum

Journal, date & volume: J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 2009 Mar , 328, 951-62

PubMed link:

Dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons in the ventral tegmental area express both KCNQ2 and KCNQ4 channels, which opening is expected to decrease neuronal excitability via neuronal hyper-polarization. Because psychotic symptoms are believed to be associated with an increased excitability of dopamine (DA) cells in the mesencephalon, KCNQ channels might represent a new potential target for the treatment of psychosis. The aim of our study was to investigate the antipsychotic-like potential of KCNQ channel opening via modulation of neuronal activity within the mesolimbic DAergic system. We report that retigabine [N-(2-amino-4-(fluorobenzylamino)-phenyl)carbamic acid ester], a KCNQ opener, dose-dependently reduced basal DA firing rate and more potently suppressed burst firing activity in the ventral tegmental area, whereas XE-991 [10,10-bis(pyridinylmethyl)-9(10H)-anthracenone], a selective KCNQ blocker, induced opposite effects. In addition, retigabine prevented d-amphetamine-induced DA efflux in the nucleus accumbens and d-amphetamine-induced locomotor hyperactivity. In contrast, XE-991 potentiated both the locomotor hyperactivity and DA efflux evoked by d-amphetamine. These data strongly suggest that the activation of KCNQ channels attenuates DAergic neurotransmission in the mesolimbic system, particularly in conditions of excessive DAergic activity. In a model predictive of antipsychotic activity, the conditioned avoidance response paradigm, retigabine was found to inhibit avoidance responses, an effect blocked by coadministration of XE-991. Furthermore, retigabine was found to significantly inhibit the hyperlocomotor response to a phencyclidine (PCP) challenge in PCP-sensitized animals, considered as a disease model for schizophrenia. Taken together, our studies provide evidence that KCNQ channel openers represent a potential new class of antipsychotics.