D1 and D2 receptor modulation in rat striatum and nucleus accumbens after subchronic and chronic haloperidol treatment

M. Laruelle, G. E. Jaskiw, B. K. Lipska, B. Kolachana, M. F. Casanova, J. E. Kleinman, D. R. Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The antipsychotic effects of neuroleptic drugs are believed to be achieved by chronic blockade of dopaminergic transmission in the limbic system. Nevertheless, the effects of chronic (3-12 months) haloperidol administration on the dopaminergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens of rodents remains poorly understood. Studies of spontaneous locomotor activity (SLA), a behavioral measure related to limbic dopamine transmission, and of dopamine D2 receptor density in the nucleus accumbens after chronic oral haloperidol treatment have yielded conflicting results. We evaluated these indices after 8 months of parenteral administration of haloperidol decanoate. We report here that, after 8 months of parenteral treatment, SLA stays significantly decreased and D2 receptors in the nucleus accumbens exhibit the same upregulation as in the striatum (about 50%). These results fail to support the notion of a different pattern of D2 receptor adaptation to neuroleptic treatment between the nucleus accumbens and the striatum. In contrast, dopamine D1 receptors were found to be unaffected in the nucleus accumbens but decreased in the striatum by 22% after 8 months of treatment. This observation could be relevant to the pathogenesis of tardive dyskinesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 13 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Antipsychotic treatment
  • Dopamine D receptor
  • Dopamine D receptor
  • Haloperidol
  • Limbic system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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