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The pathophysiology of schizophrenia involves abnormal reward processing, thought to be due to disrupted striatal and dopaminergic function. Consistent with this hypothesis, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies using the monetary incentive delay (MID) task report hypoactivation in the striatum during reward anticipation in schizophrenia. Dopamine neuron activity is modulated by striatal GABAergic interneurons. GABAergic interneuron firing rates, in turn, are related to conductances in voltage-gated potassium 3.1 (Kv3.1) and 3.2 (Kv3.2) channels, suggesting that targeting Kv3.1/3.2 could augment striatal function during reward processing. Here, we studied the effect of a novel potassium Kv3.1/3.2 channel modulator, AUT00206, on striatal activation in patients with schizophrenia, using the MID task. Each participant completed the MID during fMRI scanning on two occasions: once at baseline, and again following either 4 weeks of AUT00206 or placebo treatment. We found a significant inverse relationship at baseline between symptom severity and reward anticipation-related neural activation in the right associative striatum (r = -0.461, p = 0.035). Following treatment with AUT00206, there was a significant increase in reward anticipation-related activation in the left associative striatum (t(13) = 4.23, peak-level p(FWE) 

Original publication




Journal article


Psychopharmacology (Berl)

Publication Date





3313 - 3323


Imaging, Monetary incentive delay, Parvalbumin, Psychosis, Therapy, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Reward, Schizophrenia, Shaw Potassium Channels, Ventral Striatum