Long-term treatment with lithium prevents the development of dopamine receptor supersensitivity

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Science  14 Jul 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4351, pp. 171-173
DOI: 10.1126/science.566468


Long-term treatment of rats with haloperidol produced an increased sensitivity to the locomotor and stereotypic effect of apomorphine. This behavioral dopaminergic supersensitivity was accompanied by increased binding of [3H] spiroperidol in the striatum. Rats treated concurrently with lithium and haloperidol failed to develop both behavioral sensitivity to apomorphine and increased striatal dopamine receptor binding. The ability of lighium to prevent recurrent manicdepressive episodes may be related, in part, to its ability to stabilize dopaminergic receptor sensitivity.