Comparative gene expression study of the chronic exposure to clozapine and haloperidol in rat frontal cortex

S H Fatemi, Timothy D. Folsom, Teri J. Reutiman, Jessica Novak, Rachelanne H. Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Antipsychotic drugs (APDs) are effective in treating some of the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. APDs take time to achieve a therapeutic effect which suggests that changes in gene expression are involved in their efficacy. We hypothesized that there would be altered expression of specific genes associated with the etiology or treatment of schizophrenia in frontal cortex of rats that received chronic treatment with a typical APD (haloperidol) vs. an atypical APD (clozapine). Rats were administered clozapine, haloperidol, or sterile saline intraperitoneally daily for 21. days. Frontal cortices from clozapine-, haloperidol-, and saline-treated rats were dissected and subjected to microarray analysis. We observed a significant (1.5 fold, p < 0.05) downregulation of 278 genes and upregulation of 73 genes in the clozapine-treated brains vs. controls and downregulation of 451 genes and upregulation of 115 genes in the haloperidol-treated brains vs. control. A total of 146 genes (130 downregulated and 16 upregulated) were significantly altered by both clozapine and haloperidol. These genes were classified by functional groups. qRT-PCR (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction) analysis verified the direction and magnitude of change for a group of nine genes significantly altered by clozapine and 11 genes significantly altered by haloperidol. Three genes verified by qRT-PCR were altered by both drugs: Bcl2-like 1 (Bcl2l1), catechol-O-methyltransferase (Comt), and opioid-binding protein/cell adhesion molecule-like (Opcml). Our results show that clozapine and haloperidol cause changes in levels of many important genes that may be involved in etiology and treatment of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI), (Grant # 02R-232) (SHF). SMRI had no further role in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Funding Information:
Grant support from the Stanley Medical Research Institute (Grant # 02R-232 ) to SHF is gratefully acknowledged. Microarray analyses were performed by the BioMedical Genomics Center at the University of Minnesota. qRT-PCR analysis was provided by D. Patel and R. Rooney at Genome Explorations, Inc.

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Clozapine
  • Comt
  • Frontal cortex
  • Microarray
  • Schizophrenia

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