Differential effects of classical and atypical antipsychotic drugs on A9 and A10 dopamine neurons

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Science  09 Sep 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4615, pp. 1054-1057
DOI: 10.1126/science.6136093


Prolonged treatment with classical antipsychotic drugs decreased the number of spontaneously active dopamine neurons in both the substantia nigra (A9) and the ventral tegmental area (A10) of the rat brain. In contrast, treatment with atypical antipsychotic drugs selectively decreased the number of A10 dopamine neurons. Related drugs lacking antipsychotic efficacy failed to decrease dopamine activity. These findings suggest that the inability of atypical antipsychotic drugs to decrease A9 dopamine neuronal activity may be related to their lower potential for causing tardive dyskinesia and that the inactivation of A10 neurons may be involved in the delayed onset of therapeutic effects during treatment.