An In vivo Study of the Role of Opiates in Schizoprenia. 3H-Spiroperidol Binding
Since the 1950's, the development of antipsychotic drugs has lead to several physical models for schizophrenia. The preferred model is the Dopamine hypothesis, which relates schizophrenia to a malfunction of the DA-ergic system. This hypothesis arose from strong correlations between the ability of the drugs to specifically block DA receptors and the therapeutic effects of the drug. Recently, research has indicated that schizophrenia maybe influenced by the opiate peptides in the CNS. One way to study the role of opiate peptides in schizophrenia is to observe their effects-on the--DA receptors. 3H-spiroperidol, an antipsychotic drug that specifically blocks DA receptors, was used to study the effects of the opiate peptides on the DA receptors. The effects of the peptides were observed through changes in 3H-spiroperidol binding. When opiate peptides, which were known to be psychoactive when administered peripherally, were injected into rats before an injection of the tritiated label, the amount of label bound to its DA receptors in several different brain areas increased. This indicates that opiate peptides may play a role in schizophrenia through interaction with the DA receptors.