A comparison of the effects of neuroleptics on phencyclidine-induced behaviors in the rat

R. David Sturgeon*, Richard G. Fessler, Scott F. London, Herbert Y. Meltzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The dose-response effects of neuroleptic pretreatment on phencyclidine (PCP; 3 or 5 mg/kg)-induced locomotor activity, stereotyped behaviors and ataxia were quantified in groups of male rats using rating scales recently developed in this laboratory. Three butyrophenone neuroleptics consistly produced dose-dependent antagonism of the behavioral effects of PCP administration. Fluphenazine antagonized the behavioral effects produced by 3 mg/kg PCP but not those produced by 5 mg/kg PCP. Each of the other neuroleptics examined (chlorpromazine, thioridazine, mesoridazine, triflupromazine, cis-flupenthixol) had no consistent antagonistic effect or actually enhanced one or more of the behavioral effects of PCP. Some neuroleptics slightly reduced PCP locomotion or stereotypies at high doses, but these effects were probably a non-specific consequence of the synergistic ataxia-producing properties of these drugs. In a second set of experiments, atropine sulfate pretreatment increased PCP-induced locomotor activity and stereotyped behaviors but had no effect on ataxia; pretreatment with physostigmine produced opposite effects. Combined pretreatment with haloperidol and atropine sulfate significantly reduced only haloperidol antagonism of PCP-induced ataxia, thus suggesting that non-dopaminergic effects of neuroleptics may interfere with their ability to antagonize PCP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-53
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 19 1981


  • Ataxia
  • Atropine sulfate
  • Butyrophenones
  • Locomotor activity
  • Phencyclidine
  • Phenothiazines
  • Physostigmine
  • Stereotyped behaviors
  • Thioxanthene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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