Original Papers

Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 1-10

First online:

3H-spiperone binding sites in post-mortem brains from schizophrenic patients: Relationship to neuroleptic drug treatment, abnormal movements, and positive symptoms

  • J. KornhuberAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Würzburg
  • , P. RiedererAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Würzburg
  • , G. P. ReynoldsAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, University of Nottingham
  • , H. BeckmannAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Würzburg
  • , K. JellingerAffiliated withLudwig Boltzmann Institute for Clinical Neurobiology
  • , E. GabrielAffiliated withBaumgartner Psychiatric Hospital

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In post-mortem putamen samples from 27 schizophrenics and 27 controls D2 receptors were measured by Scatchard analysis using3H-spiperone as a ligand. Maximum number of binding sites (Bmax) and apparent dissociation constant (KD) were significantly increased only in patients in whom neuroleptic medication had been given within a three-month period before death. When the neuroleptic medication had been withdrawn at least 3 month before death, there was a slight, but not significant, reduction in Bmax values and unchanged KD values. Withdrawal of neuroleptic drugs was followed by a normalization of the KD values within 2 weeks and a slower reduction of Bmax values. There were 6 schizophrenic patients with mainly positive schizophrenic symptoms and 17 patients with mainly negative symptoms; positive schizophrenic symptoms were not related to higher Bmax values. There was no difference in3H-spiperone binding between patients with and without movement disorders (tardive dyskinesia or extrapyramidal symptoms).


D2 receptor schizophrenia spiperone tardive dyskinesia neuroleptic drugs