Effect of scopolamine on the efflux of dopamine and its metabolites after clozapine, haloperidol or thioridazine

H. Y. Meltzer*, B. L. Chai, P. A. Thompson, B. K. Yamamoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The extracellular concentrations of dopamine (DA) and its metabolites, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA), in the striatum and the nucleus accumbens were measured in awake, freely-moving rats. Clozapine (20 mg/kg, i.p.) increased extracellular DA and HVA in both regions but increased DOPAC only in the striatum. Scopolamine (1 mg/kg), although it had no effect by itself in the striatum or nucleus accumbens, inhibited the ability of clozapine to increase extracellular DA, DOPAC and HVA concentrations in the striatum. The clozapine-induced increase in DA in the frontal cortex was not blocked by scopolamine. Haloperidol (1 mg/kg, i.p.) and thioridazine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) also increased extracellular DA, DOPAC and HVA in the striatum, but scopolamine pretreatment did not inhibit these increases. The results suggest that clozapine differs from haloperidol and thioridazine in that the effect of clozapine but not that of the two neuroleptic drugs, to increase DA release in the striatum acutely depends on muscarinic receptor stimulation. These results suggest that clozapine, despite its strong muscarinic antagonist properties, does not produce full blockade of muscarinic receptors in vivo in the striatum. The interaction of clozapine with the cholinergic system in the striatum could be relevant to its lack of ability to produce extrapyramidal symptoms or tardive dyskinesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1452-1461
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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