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Effects of discontinuous drug administration on the development of dopamine receptor supersensitivity during chronic trifluoperazine or cis-flupenthixol administration to rats

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Rats received continuous or discontinuous administration of trifluoperazine or cis-flupenthixol in drinking water for up to 12 months. Continuous and discontinuous trifluoperazine administration had no consistent effect on apomorphine-induced stereotyped behaviour and there was no difference between drug treatments. Continuous and discontinuous cis-flupenthixol administration enhanced apomorphine-induced stereotypy, but there was no difference in the effect of the two drug treatments. Both continuous and discontinuous administration of trifluoperazine increased the number of specific striatal 3H-spiperone binding sites (B max). Over the period of treatment there was no difference in the effects of the different treatments. Continuous or discontinuous cis-flupenthixol intake did not increase B max after 6 or 12 months intake. Continuous or discontinuous neuroleptic treatment produced no difference in functional striatal dopamine receptor activity as judged by apomorphine-induced stereotyped behaviour. Ligand binding studies also suggest that the overall change in striatal receptor function is not affected by the use of a discontinuous drug regime.

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Correspondence to C. D. Marsden.

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Murugaiah, K., Theodorou, A., Clow, A. et al. Effects of discontinuous drug administration on the development of dopamine receptor supersensitivity during chronic trifluoperazine or cis-flupenthixol administration to rats. Psychopharmacology 86, 228–232 (1985).

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Key words

  • Neuroleptics
  • Tardive dyskinesias
  • Discontinuous drug administration
  • Dopamine supersensitivity
  • rat