Sensitization versus tolerance to the dopamine turnover-elevating effects of haloperidol: the effect of regular/intermittent dosing

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1990;101(4):519-24. doi: 10.1007/BF02244231.


Recent clinical research suggests that particular patterns of changes in presynaptic dopamine (DA) turnover accompany the therapeutic response to neuroleptics. We sought to determine whether daily versus weekly dosing of haloperidol for 3 weeks produced distinct effects on DA, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and homovanillic acid (HVA) concentrations in multiple brain areas. Daily dosing favored the development of tolerance to the DA-turnover elevating effects of haloperidol in the striatum and nucleus accumbens. Weekly dosing favored the development of sensitization in the striatum, posterior olfactory tubercle, and ventral tegmental area. These results suggest that dosing schedules may determine, at least in part, the effects of chronic neuroleptic administration on presynaptic DA function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Ergolines / pharmacology
  • Haloperidol / administration & dosage
  • Haloperidol / pharmacology*
  • Homovanillic Acid / metabolism
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism
  • Olfactory Bulb / metabolism
  • Quinpirole
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Ergolines
  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Quinpirole
  • Haloperidol
  • Dopamine
  • Homovanillic Acid