Rationale Accumulating evidence indicates that schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder patients are marked by cognitive deficits in working memory and strategy switching. There is accumulating evidence that 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)6 receptors may serve as a useful target to improve cognitive functioning. Objectives In the present experiments, the novel 5-HT6 antagonist, PRX-07034, was examined for its selectivity of the 5-HT6 receptor, as well as its effect on delayed spontaneous alternation and strategy switching. Methods The binding affinity of PRX-07034 to the 5-HT6 receptor, other 5-HT receptors, as well as other G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels, and transporters was transfected HEK-293 cells. In separate behavioral experiments, rats received different doses of PRX-07034 (0.1, 1, or 3 mg/kg, i.p.) 30 min prior to delayed spontaneous alternation testing or prior to the acquisition and switch phases in a place-response switch test. Results The results indicated that PRX-07034 is both a potent (Ki=4-8 nM) and highly selective 5-HT6 receptor antagonist (≥100-fold selectivity for the 5-HT6 receptor compared to 68 other GPCRs, ion channels, and transporters, except D3 (Ki=71 nM) and 5-HT1B (Ki=260 nM) receptors. For cyclic AMP quantification, PRX-07034 demonstrated antagonist activity (IC50=19 nM) without an effect on basal levels and did not show any agonist activity up to 10 μM. PRX-07034 at 1 and 3 mg/kg (but not 0.1 mg/kg) significantly enhanced delayed spontaneous alternation. The drug at 1 and 3 mg/kg also enhanced switching between a place and response strategy, but did not affect initial learning of either a place or response discrimination. Conclusions These findings demonstrate that PRX-07034 is a selective 5-HT 6 receptor antagonist that may represent a novel treatment for enhancing working memory and cognitive flexibility.
- Autism spectrum disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas