Role of serotonin-1A receptors in the action of antipsychotic drugs: comparison of prepulse inhibition studies in mice and rats and relevance for human pharmacology Academic Article uri icon


  • This study aimed to explore strain and species differences in the involvement of 5-HT1A receptors in the action of antipsychotic drugs, using prepulse inhibition (PPI), a model of sensory processing which is deficient in schizophrenia patients. We used automated startle boxes to compare the effect of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist, (+/-)-8-hydroxy-dipropyl-amino-tetralin (8-OH-DPAT), on PPI in three mouse strains. Balb/c mice were then pretreated with antipsychotics, treated with 8-OH-DPAT or saline, and tested for PPI. 8-OH-DPAT treatment dose dependently increased PPI in Balb/c mice, but had less effect in 129Sv and C57Bl/6 mice. In Balb/c mice, the effect of 8-OH-DPAT was blocked by the typical antipsychotic and dopamine D2 receptor antagonist, haloperidol and the third generation antipsychotic, aripiprazole, which has activity at both 5-HT1A and dopamine D2 receptors. The atypical antipsychotics, clozapine, olanzapine and risperidone, had lesser effects. Similar to our earlier studies in rats, the present PPI results suggest that 5-HT1A receptors are involved in the action of some antipsychotic drugs in mice. Despite strain and species differences in the magnitude and direction of the effect of 8-OH-DPAT, downstream dopamine D2 receptor activation seems to be an important mediator. These comparative results allow a theoretical framework of receptor interactions, which may guide further studies on the involvement of 5-HT1A receptors in schizophrenia.

publication date

  • September 2008

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