Dopamine receptor pharmacology

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 1994 Jul;15(7):264-70. doi: 10.1016/0165-6147(94)90323-9.


Dopamine receptors are the primary targets in the treatment of schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's chorea, and are discussed in this review by Philip Seeman and Hubert Van Tol. Improved therapy may be obtained by drugs that selectively target a particular subtype of dopamine receptor. Most antipsychotic drugs block D2 receptors in direct correlation to clinical potency, except clozapine, which prefers D4 receptors. D1 and D2 receptors can enhance each other's actions, possibly through subunits of the G proteins. In schizophrenia, the D2 and D3 receptor density is elevated by 10%, while the D4 receptor density is elevated by 600%. Therefore, D4 receptors may be a target for future antipsychotic drugs. While antipsychotics originally helped to discover dopamine receptors, the five cloned dopamine receptors are now facilitating the discovery of selective antipsychotic and antiparkinson drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antipsychotic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Humans


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Dopamine Antagonists