Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2010 Jan;121(1):11-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01455.x.

The prefrontal cortex: a target for antipsychotic drugs.

Author information

Department of Neurochemistry and Neuropharmacology, Institut d' Investigacions Biomèdiques de Barcelona (CSIC), IDIBAPS,08036 Barcelona, Spain.



At therapeutic doses, classical antipsychotic drugs occupy a large proportion of subcortical dopamine D2 receptors, whereas atypical antipsychotics preferentially occupy cortical 5-HT(2) receptors. However, the exact cellular and network basis of their therapeutic action is not fully understood.


To review the mechanism of action of antipsychotic drugs with a particular emphasis on their action in the prefrontal cortex (PFC).


The PFC controls a large number of higher brain functions altered in schizophrenia. Histological studies indicate the presence of a large proportion of PFC neurons expressing monoaminergic receptors sensitive to the action of atypical- and to a lesser extentclassical antipsychotic drugs. Functional studies also indicate that both drug families act at PFC level.


Atypical antipsychotic drugs likely exert their therapeutic activity by a preferential action on PFC neurons, thus modulating the PFC output to basal ganglia circuits. Classical antipsychotics also interact with these PFC targets in addition to blocking massively striatal D2 receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center