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Neurochem Int. 2001 Apr;38(5):425-35.

Protein thiol oxidation by haloperidol results in inhibition of mitochondrial complex I in brain regions: comparison with atypical antipsychotics.

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  • 1Department of Neurochemistry, National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences, Hosur Road, Bangalore 560 029, India.


Usage of 'typical' but not 'atypical' antipsychotic drugs is associated with severe side effects involving extrapyramidal tract (EPT). Single dose of haloperidol caused selective inhibition of complex I in frontal cortex, striatum and midbrain (41 and 26%, respectively) which was abolished by pretreatment of mice with thiol antioxidants, alpha-lipoic acid and glutathione isopropyl ester, and reversed, in vitro, by disulfide reductant, dithiothreitol. Prolonged administration of haloperidol to mice resulted in complex I loss in frontal cortex, hippocampus, striatum and midbrain, while chronic dosing with clozapine affected only hippocampus and frontal cortex. Risperidone caused complex I loss in frontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum but not in midbrain from which extrapyramidal tract emanates. Inhibition of the electron transport chain component, complex I by haloperidol is mediated through oxidation of essential thiol groups to disulfides, in vivo. Further, loss of complex I in extrapyramidal brain regions by anti-psychotics correlated with their known propensity to generate side-effects involving extra-pyramidal tract.

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