A neurochemical basis for the antipsychotic activity of loxapine: interactions with dopamine D1, D2, D4 and serotonin 5-HT2 receptor subtypes.
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Loxapine is a typical neuroleptic that shows great structural and functional homology to the atypical antipsychotic clozapine. Chronic loxapine treatment is usually associated with extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), whereas clozapine treatment is not. Conversely, loxapine does not produce the agranulocytosis that often results from protracted clozapine treatment. Earlier studies of loxapine have usually implicated D2 receptor blockade as the cause of the tardive dyskinesia that occurs with chronic treatment. More recently, loxapine's ability to potentiate serotonergic neurotransmission has also been implicated. In this study, the pharmacological affinities of loxapine for the dopamine D1, D2, D4, as well as serotonin-2 (5-HT2) and NMDA receptor subtypes, were investigated through direct radioreceptor assays. The findings indicate that loxapine displays an extremely strong binding affinity for dopamine D4 and serotonin 5-HT2 receptors, which suggests that both serotonergic and dopaminergic mechanisms contribute to the antipsychotic drug action and EPS associated with loxapine in the treatment of schizophrenia.
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