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Keywords:

  • antagonists;
  • atypical neuroleptic;
  • clozapine;
  • dopamine;
  • rat;
  • typical neuroleptic

Abstract

Acute challenge with clozapine and haloperidol produce different anatomical patterns of c-fos expression in the forebrain. The pharmacological profile of atypical antipsychotics suggests that serotonin might contribute to the unique therapeutic benefits of these drugs. In order to test this possibility, we examined the abilities of 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A/2C agonists to modify the pattern of c-fos expression induced by haloperidol and clozapine. Various groups of rats were pretreated with either saline, DOI, 8-OH-DPAT, and 8-OH-DPAT + DOI 30 min prior to haloperidol or clozapine administration. Rats were killed 90 min after antipsychotic administration. In saline-pretreated rats, haloperidol produced intense Fos-LI in all four striatal quadrants while the effect of clozapine was restricted to the medial part of the striatum. Prior administration of 8-OH-DPAT significantly reduced haloperidol-induced Fos-LI in all four striatal quadrants while DOI and 8-OHDPAT + DOI significantly reduced Fos-LI only in dorso- and ventrolateral quadrants. In the nucleus accumbens, haloperidol induced intense Fos-LI in the core and the shell regions whereas clozapine induced c-fos expression only in the shell. Pretreatment with 8-OHDPAT in haloperidol treated rats reduced Fos-LI in the core region yielding to a c-fos pattern similar to that induced by clozapine. In the prefrontal cortex of saline-pretreated rats, haloperidol produced a moderate c-fos expression compared with the intense expression produced by clozapine. Pretreatment with serotonin agonists before haloperidol brought the number of FOS-positive neurons to the same level as in clozapine treated rats. These results show the ability of 5-HT agonists to transform the typical pattern of c-fos expression induced by haloperidol into a pattern resembling that of clozapine.