, Volume 124, Issue 1–2, pp 57–73 | Cite as

Risperidone compared with new and reference antipsychotic drugs: in vitro and in vivo receptor binding

  • A. Schotte
  • P. F. M. Janssen
  • W. Gommeren
  • W. H. M. L. Luyten
  • P. Van Gompel
  • A. S. Lesage
  • K. De Loore
  • J. E. Leysen
Original Investigation


Risperidone and its active metabolite 9-OH-risperidone were compared to reference antipsychotic drugs (haloperidol, pipamperone, fluspirilene, clozapine, zotepine) and compounds under development (olanzapine, seroquel, sertindole, ORG-5222, ziprasidone) for in vitro binding to neurotransmitter receptors in brain tissue and on membranes of recombinant cells expressing cloned human receptors and for in vivo occupancy of neurotransmitter receptors in rat and guinea-pig brain following acute treatment (2 h., s.c.). An ex vivo autoradiography technique was applied to determine the receptor occupancy by the drugs administered in vivo. Of particular interest are the central 5HT2A receptors and D2-type receptors. Predominant 5HT2A receptor antagonism is supposed to add to an atypical profile of the antipsychotics (treatment of the negative symptoms, low incidence of extrapyramidal side effects). D2 antagonism is required for the treatment of positive symptoms. A contribution of the new dopamine receptor subtypes D3 and in particular D4 receptors has been proposed.

In vitro, all compounds, except the ‘typical’ antipsychotics haloperidol and fluspirilene, showed higher affinity for 5HT2A than for D2 receptors. Subnanomolar affinity for human 5HT2A receptors was observed for ORG-5222, sertindole, resperidone, 9-OH-risperidone and ziprasidone. Fluspirilene, ORG-5222, haloperidol, ziprasidone, risperidone, 9-OH-risperidone and zotepine displayed nanomolar affinity for human D2 receptors. Sertindole and olanzapine were slightly less potent. Pipamperone, clozapine and seroquel showed 2 orders of magnitude lower D2 affinity in vitro. Clozapine, but even more so pipamperone, displayed higher affinity for D4 than for D2 receptors. For most other compounds, D4 affinity was only slightly lower than their D2 affinity. Seroquel was totally devoid of D4 affinity. None of the compounds had nanomolar affinity for D1 receptors; their affinity for D3 receptors was usually slightly lower than for D2 receptors.

In vivo, ORG-5222, risperidone, pipamperone, 9-OH-risperidone, sertindole, olanzapine, zotepine and clozapine maintained a higher potency for occupying 5HT2A than D2 receptors. Risperidone and ORG-5222 had 5HT2A versus D2 potency ratio of about 20. Highest potency for 5HT2A receptor occupancy was observed for ORG-5222 followed by risperidone and olanzapine. Ziprasidone exclusively occupied 5HT2A receptors. ORG-5222, haloperidol, fluspirilene and olanzapine showed the highest potency for occupying D2 receptors. No regional selectivity for D2 receptor occupancy in mesolimbic versus nigrostriatal areas was detected for any of the test compounds. Risperidone was conspicuous because of its more gradual occupancy of D2 receptors; none of the other compounds showed this property. The various compounds also displayed high to moderate occupancy of adrenergic α1 receptors, except fluspirilene and ziprasidone. Clozapine, zotepine, ORG-5222 and sertindole occupied even more α1 than D2 receptors. Clozapine showed predominant occupancy of H1 receptors and occupied cholinergic receptors with equivalent potency to D2 receptors. A stronger predominance of 5HT2A versus D2 receptor occupancy combined with a more gradual occupancy of D2 receptors differentiates risperidone and its 9-OH-metabolite from the other antipsychotic compounds in this study. The predominant 5HT2A receptor occupancy probably plays a role in the beneficial action of risperidone on the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, whereas maintenance of a moderate occupancy of D2 receptors seems adequate for treating the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. A combined 5HT2A and D2 occupancy and the avoidance of D2 receptor overblockade are believed to reduce the risk for extrapyramidal symptoms.

Key words

Receptor occupancy Autoradiography Risperidone Antipsychotic drugs 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Schotte
    • 1
  • P. F. M. Janssen
    • 1
  • W. Gommeren
    • 1
  • W. H. M. L. Luyten
    • 1
  • P. Van Gompel
    • 1
  • A. S. Lesage
    • 1
  • K. De Loore
    • 1
  • J. E. Leysen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemical PharmacologyJanssen Research FoundationBeerseBelgium

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