Open Access

Effect of amisulpride, olanzapine, quetiapine, and aripiprazole single administration on c-Fos expression in vasopressinergic and oxytocinergic neurons of the rat hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus


Objective. The goal of this study was to reveal the impact of four types of atypical antipsychotics including amisulpride (AMI), olanzapine (OLA), quetiapine (QUE), and aripiprazole (ARI), with different receptor-affinity profile and dissociation constant, on the activity of hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus (SON) vasopressinergic and oxytocinergic neurons.

Methods. Male Sprague Dawley rats received a single injection of vehicle (VEH) (0.1 ml/100g), AMI (20 mg/kg), OLA (5 mg/kg), QUE (15 mg/kg/) or ARI (10 mg/kg). Ninety min after treatment, the animals were fixed by transcardial perfusion, the brains removed, and cryocut into serial coronal sections of 35 µm thickness. The sections were processed for c-Fos staining using an avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex and visualized by nickel intensified diaminobenzidine to reach black end product. Afterwards, the sections were exposed to vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OXY) antibodies and the reaction product visualized by biotin-labeled fluorescent Alexa Fluor 568 dye. The data were evaluated from c-Fos and AVP or OXY merged sections.

Results. The present study shows that all four antipsychotics applied induced c-Fos expression in the SON. With respect to the stimulation efficacy of the individual antipsychotics, estimated based on the quantity of c-Fos-labeled AVP and OXY neurons, could be a preferential action assigned to QUE over moderate effect of ARI and lower effect to OLA and reduced effect of AMI (VEH < AMI < OLA < ARI < QUE).

Conclusion. The present data for the first time provide an insight into the quantitative pattern of brain activity within the clusters of SON AVP and OXY cells in response to different atypical antipsychotics single treatment.