It has recently been postulated that disturbances in glutamatergic neurotransmission may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Therefore the aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of glutamate NMDA and group II metabotropic receptors in the antipsychotic drug action. To this aim the influence of some well-known neuroleptics on cortical NMDA receptors was examined. Furthermore, their behavioral effects were compared with those of the novel agonist of group II glutamate metabotropic receptors, LY 354740, in some animal models of schizophrenic deficits. We found that long-term administration of the typical neuroleptic haloperidol and the atypical one clozapine increased the number of NMDA receptors labelled with [3H]CGP 39653 in different cortical areas. Long-, but not short-term, treatment with haloperidol and raclopride diminished the deficit of prepulse inhibition produced by phencyclidine, which is a model of sensorimotor gating deficit in schizophrenia. In contrast, neither short- nor long-term treatment with clozapine influenced the phencyclidine effect in that model. Acute treatment with LY 354740 reversed neither (1) the deficit of prepulse inhibition produced by phencyclidine or apomorphine, nor (2) the impairment in a delayed alternation task induced by MK-801, which is commonly used to model the frontal lobe deficits associated with schizophrenia. The present study suggests that an increase in the density of cortical NMDA receptors may be important to a longterm neuroleptic therapy. Conversely, the results do not support the role of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors in the antipsychotic drug action.