Animal behavior models of the mechanisms underlying antipsychotic atypicality

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2003 Oct;27(7):1071-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2003.09.003.


This review describes the animal behavior models that provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the critical differences between the actions of typical vs. atypical antipsychotic drugs. Although many of these models are capable of differentiating between antipsychotic and other psychotropic drugs, only a few seem to be able to differentiate between typical and atypical antipsychotics, such as the paw test and the phencyclidine (PCP)-induced disruption of prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle in rats. Moreover, there is an urgent need for animal models focusing more on the negative and the cognitive symptoms. Hence, improved animal models are crucial for developing better treatments for schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antipsychotic Agents / classification
  • Antipsychotic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Apomorphine / pharmacology
  • Auditory Perception / drug effects
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hyperkinesis / chemically induced
  • Learning / drug effects
  • Models, Animal*
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Reflex, Startle
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Social Isolation


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Apomorphine