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Eur J Pharmacol. 2001 Sep 28;428(1):81-6.

Effect of 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A/2C receptor modulation on neuroleptic-induced vacuous chewing movements.

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  • 1Pharmacology Division, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarlh, India.


Tardive dyskinesia is a serious motor side effect of chronic neuroleptic therapy. Chronic treatment or rats with neuroleptics leads to the development of abnormal oral movements called vacuous chewing movements. Vacuous chewing movements in rats are widely accepted as an animal model of tardive dyskinesia. Atypical antipsychotics such as clozapine and rispiridone are associated with a lower incidence of extrapyramidal side effects and tardive dyskinesia. The present study was aimed to explore the role of 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A/2C receptors in the expression of neuroleptic-induced orofacial dyskinesia. In the present study rats were chronically (for 21 days) treated with haloperidol (1.5 mg/kg, i.p.) to elicit vacuous chewing movements. The neuroleptic-induced vacuous chewing movements, viz., vertical jaw movements, tongue protrusions and bursts of jaw tremors, were counted during a 5-min observation period. Acute treatment with 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino) tetralin (8-OH-DPAT), a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, dose-dependently (0.05, 0.1 and 0.2 mg/kg, i.p.) reduced the haloperidol-induced vacuous chewing movements and headshakes. Both acute and chronic administration of seganserin, ketanserin and ritanserin, 5-HT2A/2C receptor antagonists, also reduced haloperidol-induced vacuous chewing movements in a dose-dependent (0.05, 0.1 and 0.2 mg/kg, i.p.) manner. In acute studies a higher dose of ritanserin (1 mg/kg) but not ketanserin (1 mg/kg) increased vacuous chewing movements, whereas a higher dose of seganserin (1 mg/kg) did not have any effect on vacuous chewing movements. All the drugs reduced haloperidol-induced headshakes in a dose-dependent fashion. These findings indicate that the serotonergic system, and particularly 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A/2C receptors, may be involved in haloperidol-induced orofacial dyskinesia, and that 5-HT receptors may provide novel targets for the development of drugs that can be used to reverse or prevent the extrapyramidal side effects associated with long-term antipsychotic treatment.

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