Publication Details

Han, M., Huang, X., Du Bois, T. & Deng, C. (2009). The effects of antipsychotic drugs administration on 5-HT1A receptor expression in the limbic system of the rat brain. Neuroscience, 164 (4), 1754-1763.


Increasing evidence suggests that 5-HT1A receptors are involved in the pathophysiology and treatment of schizophrenia. This paper investigated 5-HT1A receptor mRNA expression and binding density in female rats treated with aripiprazole (2.25 mg/kg/day), olanzapine (1.5 mg/kg/day), haloperidol (0.3 mg/kg/day) or vehicle (control) orally three times/day for 1 or 12 weeks. Animals were sacrificed 48 h after the last administration. Aripiprazole significantly increased 5-HT1A receptor binding density by 33% in the CA1 region of the hippocampus and by 21% in the medial posterodorsal nuclei of posterior amygdala (MeP) compared to the control group after 1 week of treatment. Olanzapine significantly decreased 5-HT1A receptor binding density by 17–22% in Layers I–IV of the cingulate cortex after 1 week of treatment. Neither of these antipsychotic drugs affected 5-HT1A receptor binding density after 12 weeks drug treatment. As expected, haloperidol treatment did not have any significant effect on 5-HT1A binding density after 1 or 12 weeks of treatment. 5-HT1A receptor mRNA expression was not altered by antipsychotic treatment in any brain region. The results indicate that aripiprazole and olanzapine have differential effects on 5-HT1A receptor expression, which may contribute to their distinct profiles in improving negative symptoms and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. Aripiprazole and olanzapine may produce adaptation and desensitization of 5-HT1A receptor expression after long term treatment.

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