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Eur J Pharmacol. 1990 Feb 27;177(3):111-8.

Metabolites of haloperidol display preferential activity at sigma receptors compared to dopamine D-2 receptors.

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Section of Biochemistry, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912.


Haloperidol bound with equal affinity to sigma and dopamine D-2 receptors (KI = 2.8 nM). Compared to haloperidol, its carbonyl-reduced metabolite bound to sigma receptors with nearly equal affinity. However, reduced haloperidol bound to dopamine receptors with 85-fold lower affinity compared to haloperidol (KI = 239 nM). The chlorophenyl-hydroxy-piperidine metabolite of haloperidol lacked affinity for dopamine receptors, but bound with moderate affinity to sigma receptors (KI = 326 nM). The carboxylic acid metabolite lacked affinity for either receptor. Like haloperidol, (+)-pentazocine, and 1,3-di-o-tolylguanidine, reduced haloperidol potently inhibited the phosphoinositide response to muscarinic agonists in rat brain synaptoneurosomes, an assay which monitors sigma agonist activity. This metabolite also produced a dystonic alteration of head position in rats when microinjected into the red nucleus. However, unlike observations with haloperidol and other sigma ligands, this effect was associated with pathological changes in the red nucleus. Therefore, it cannot be attributed to sigma receptor interactions with certainty. These findings suggest that administration of haloperidol results initially in effects mediated through both dopamine and sigma receptors, but as metabolism proceeds the sigma actions would be expected to decline at a significantly slower rate than the dopaminergic actions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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