Haloperidol but Not Clozapine Increases Neurotensin Receptor mRNA Levels in Rat Substantia Nigra

Carolyn Bolden‐Watson, Michael A. Watson, Karl D. Murray, Paul J. Isackson, Elliott Richelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Abstract: We examined the effects of chronic (2 weeks) treatment with a typical neuroleptic, haloperidol (1 mg/kg, s.c.), and an atypical neuroleptic, clozapine (20 mg/kg, s.c.), on neurotensin receptor (NTR) mRNA levels by in situ hybridization histochemistry. Quantitative OD analysis showed haloperidol‐induced NTR mRNA levels in the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area (SN/ VTA) 110% over control levels (significant difference from the control, p < 0.05). In contrast, the same analysis applied to the sections from clozapine‐treated animals showed no significant change in NTR mRNA levels compared with matched control sections (p > 0.05). Thus, chronic treatment with haloperidol but not clozapine resulted in elevated levels of NTR mRNA within the SN/VTA. These results suggest that the high incidence of extrapyramidal side effects of typical neuroleptics could result from changes in NTR expression in the SN/VTA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1141-1143
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1993


  • Atypical neuroleptics
  • Extrapyramidal side effects
  • In situ hybridization histochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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