Noradrenergic mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex.
There is growing evidence that noradrenergic inputs to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) play an important role in regulating its function. This paper reviews the pharmacological control of noradrenaline (NA) release in this region, with particular reference to our studies using brain microdialysis, and also describes how NA levels are modulated by antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs. The suggestion that atypical antipsychotics such as clozapine and risperidone may produce clinical benefits by their ability to increase NA release is discussed. Finally, a new class of drugs, which show selectivity for imidazoline receptors is described. These compounds are shown to similarly increase extracellular NA in the PFC. Their potential utility as clinical treatments is discussed