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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2010 Mar;20(3):187-94. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2009.09.002. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

Effects of repeated risperidone exposure on serotonin receptor subtypes in developing rats.

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  • 1Mailman Research Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA 02478, USA.


Risperidone is an atypical antipsychotic drug that is widely prescribed to young patients with different psychotic disorders. The long-term effects of this antipsychotic agent on neuronal receptors in developing brain remain unclear and require further investigation. In this study, we examined the effects of long-term treatment of risperidone on two serotonin receptor subtypes in brain regions of juvenile rat. Levels of 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A) receptors in forebrain regions of juvenile rats were quantified after 3 weeks of treatment with three different doses of risperidone (0.3, 1.0 and 3.0mg/kg). Findings were compared to previously reported changes in 5-HT receptors after risperidone treatment (3.0mg/kg) in adult rat brain. The three doses of risperidone selectively and dose-dependently increased levels of 5-HT(1A) receptors in medial-prefrontal and dorsolateral-frontal cortices of juvenile animals. The higher doses (1.0 and 3.0mg/kg) of risperidone also increased 5-HT(1A) receptor binding in hippocampal CA(1) region of juvenile but not adult rats. In contrast, the three doses of risperidone significantly reduced 5-HT(2A) labeling in medial-prefrontal and dorsolateral-frontal cortices in juvenile as well as in adult animals in an equipotent fashion. 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A) receptors in other forebrain regions were not altered by repeated risperidone treatment. These findings indicate that there are differential effects of risperidone on 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A) receptors in juvenile animals, and that the 5-HT system in developing animals is more sensitive than adults to the long-term effects of risperidone.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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