The dopaminergic stabilizer pridopidine increases neuronal activity of pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex

Journal of Neural Transmission
Benjamin GronierHenrik Ponten


The dopaminergic stabilizer pridopidine demonstrates state-dependent effects on locomotor activity, counteracting both hypo- and hyperactivity in rats. Pridopidine has been shown to display both functional dopamine D2 receptor antagonist properties and increase in biomarkers associated with NMDA-mediated glutamate transmission in the frontal cortex. To further characterise the effects of pridopidine on prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons, a series of in vivo electrophysiological studies were performed in urethane-anaesthetised rats. Pridopidine, administered at doses from 10 to 60 mg/kg (i.v.), dose dependently increased pyramidal cell firing in the majority of the neurons tested. Pridopidine induced a significant increase of 162 % in mean firing activity of PFC neurons, versus initial basal firing activity as the cumulative dose of 30 mg/kg, i.v., was administered. This enhancement of activity was due to increased firing frequency of already spontaneously active neurons, rather than an increase in population activity. The increase was partially reversed or prevented by a sub-threshold dose of the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH23390 (0.5 mg/kg, i.v.). Microiontophoretic application of pridopidine had only moderate activating e...Continue Reading


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