Possible antioxidant and neuroprotective mechanisms of FK506 in attenuating haloperidol-induced orofacial dyskinesia

Eur J Pharmacol. 2003 Sep 12;477(2):87-94. doi: 10.1016/s0014-2999(03)02124-1.


Tardive dyskinesia is a serious motor side effect of chronic neuroleptic therapy. The pathophysiology of this disabling and commonly irreversible movement disorder is still obscure. It may be caused by a loss of dopaminergic cells, due to free radicals as a product of high synaptic dopamine levels. Chronic treatment with neuroleptics leads to the development of abnormal oral movements in rats called vacuous chewing movements. Vacuous chewing movements in rats are widely accepted as an animal model of tardive dyskinesia. Chronic haloperidol (1 mg/kg for 21 days) treatment significantly induced vacuous chewing movements and tongue protrusions in rats, and FK506 (Tacrolimus) [[3S-[3R*[E(1S*,3S*,4S*)],4S*,5R*,8S*,9E,12R*,14R*,15S*,16R*,18S*,19S*,26aR*]]-5,6,8,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,24,25,26,26a-hexadecahydro-5, 19-dihydroxy-3-[2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxycyclohexyl)-1-methylethenyl]-14, 16-dimethoxy-4,10,12, 18-tetramethyl-8-(2-propenyl)-15, 19-epoxy-3H-pyrido[2,1-c][1,4] oxaazacyclotricosine-1,7,20, 21(4H,23H)-tetrone, monohydrate] dose dependently (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) reduced these haloperidol-induced movements. Biochemical analysis revealed that chronic haloperidol treatment significantly induced lipid peroxidation and decreased the levels of glutathione and of the antioxidant defense enzymes, superoxide dismutase and catalase, in the brains of rats. Co-administration of FK506 dose dependently (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) and significantly reduced the lipid peroxidation and restored the decreased glutathione levels induced by chronic haloperidol treatment. It also significantly reversed the haloperidol-induced decrease in brain superoxide dismutase and catalase levels. The major findings of the present study suggest that oxidative stress-induced neuronal death might play a significant role in neuroleptic-induced orofacial dyskinesia. In conclusion, FK506 could be a useful drug for the treatment of neuroleptic-induced orofacial dyskinesia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / drug therapy*
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / etiology
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Haloperidol / adverse effects*
  • Haloperidol / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Lipid Peroxidation / physiology
  • Male
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Tacrolimus / administration & dosage
  • Tacrolimus / pharmacology
  • Tacrolimus / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione
  • Haloperidol
  • Tacrolimus