The effect of nicotine and haloperidol co-treatment on nicotinic receptor levels in the rat brain

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Genetic and biological data have suggested a role for the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the neuropathophysiology of schizophrenia. Studies in human postmortem brain demonstrate dose-dependent increases in nicotinic receptor binding in normal smokers. We found this upregulation to be reduced in schizophrenic smokers, many of whom had taken typical neuroleptics during their lifetime. The present study examined the hypothesis that typical antipsychotic drug treatment might modulate nicotinic receptor upregulation in a rat model. Nicotine, administered alone or in combination with haloperidol, increased both high and low affinity neuronal nicotinic receptors in a region specific manner. Haloperidol had no generalized effect on basal levels of nicotinic receptor binding or nicotine induced upregulation of nicotinic receptors. However, haloperidol attenuated high affinity nicotinic receptor upregulation in thalamus and low affinity receptor upregulation in hippocampus. These results suggest that haloperidol is not likely to affect nicotinic receptor regulation by smoking in most brain regions. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.

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Molecular Brain Research





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This article was published in Molecular Brain Research, Volume 86, Issue 42006, Pages 115-124.

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Copyright © 2001 Elsevier.

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