Neuropeptides 2008 Oct-Dec;42(5-6):535-41. Epub 2008 Jul 26.
Karolinska Institutet, Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry M56, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, SE-14186 Stockholm, Sweden.
Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a 37 amino acid peptide which acts on central nervous system (CNS) neurons and is involved in activities related to dopamine. These effects of CGRP suggest that the peptide may have a role in pathophysiology and treatment of schizophrenia where dopaminergic system hypoactivity in the frontal cortex and hyperactivity in the subcortical structures have been demonstrated. In this study we measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) the brain levels of CGRP-like immunoreactivity (CGRP-LI) in rats treated with either classical (haloperidol) or atypical (risperidone and olanzapine) antipsychotic drugs. Both haloperidol and risperidone decreased CGRP-LI in the striatum. Risperidone also decreased CGRP-LI in the occipital cortex. On the other hand, olanzapine increased CGRP-LI in the striatum, the frontal cortex and hypothalamus. The differential effects on CGRP could reflect a different profile of side effects and further suggest that CGRP is involved in CNS functions related to psychiatric disorders.