BEHAVIORAL EFFECTS OF CHRONIC RISPERIDONE TREATMENT ON JUVENILE MALE RATS
Boman, Lindsey A
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Despite substantial increases in the use of antipsychotics, there is a lack of literature regarding the long-term effects of early treatment. Some studies have indicated that early administration results in differential alterations to neurotransmission systems, but few studies have been conducted to investigate the long-term behavioral modifications. Therefore, the aim of the current work was to examine the behavioral effects of low dose risperidone (a commonly used antipsychotic) treatment in rodents. Twenty-four male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to either a subcutaneously implanted continuous release risperidone treatment (.04 mg/day) or a sham pellet condition. To encompass the peri-adolescent to adolescent time frame (postnatal days 40-60), thought to be important for brain development (Schneider, 2013; Spear, 2000) male rats began risperidone treatment at post-natal day 35. Following a 6-week treatment period, adult rats (Wiley, 2008), were given a battery of behavioral assessments. No significant differences were found between groups in the Open field, Object recognition, Spatial recognition or Morris water maze tasks. Additionally, Y-maze yielded no differences in percentage of spontaneous alternation and alternate arm return patterns. However, significant differences were found between groups in the number of same arm returns, which has been proposed to be indicative of working memory deficits. Since this is likely the first study of its kind using this route of administration, more work needs to be done to determine if early exposure to risperidone may lead to differences in spatial working memory in adulthood. However, these findings seem to indicate that early low dose risperidone treatment does not severely impair behavior in later adulthood.