Bipolar disorder is a life-threatening disorder linked to dopamine transporter (DAT) polymorphisms, with reduced DAT levels seen in positron emission tomography and postmortem brains.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of approved antipsychotics on DAT dysfunction-mediated mania behavior in mice.
DAT knockdown mice received either D-family receptor antagonist risperidone or asenapine and mania-related behaviors were assessed in the clinically-relevant behavioral pattern monitor to assess spontaneous exploration.
Chronic risperidone did not reverse mania-like behavior in DAT knockdown mice. Chronic asenapine reduced mania behavior but this effect was more pronounced in wild-type littermates than in DAT knockdown mice.
Taken together, these findings suggest that while acute antipsychotic treatment may be beneficial in management of bipolar mania, more targeted therapeutics may be necessary for long-term treatment. Specific investigation into DAT-targeting drugs could improve future treatment of bipolar mania.