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Long-term treatment with haloperidol affects neuropeptide S and NPSR mRNA levels in the rat brain

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2015

Artur Palasz*
Department of Histology, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Ewa Rojczyk
Department of Histology, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Milosz Golyszny
Student Scientific Society, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Lukasz Filipczyk
Department of Histology, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
John J. Worthington
Manchester Immunology Group, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Ryszard Wiaderkiewicz
Department of Histology, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Artur Palasz, Department of Histology, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, 18 Medykow Street, 40-752 Katowice, Poland. Tel: +48 32 2088363; Fax: +48 32 2526574; E-mail:



The brainstem-derived neuropeptide S (NPS) has a multidirectional regulatory activity, especially as a potent anxiolytic factor. Accumulating data suggests that neuroleptics affect peptidergic signalling in various brain structures. However, there is no information regarding the influence of haloperidol on NPS and NPS receptor (NPSR) expression.


We assessed NPS and NPSR mRNA levels in brains of rats treated with haloperidol using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.


Chronic haloperidol treatment (4 weeks) led to a striking upregulation of NPS and NPSR expression in the rat brainstem. Conversely, the NPSR mRNA expression was decreased in the hippocampus and striatum.


This stark increase of NPS in response to haloperidol treatment supports the hypothesis that this neuropeptide is involved in the dopamine-dependent anxiolytic actions of neuroleptics and possibly also in the pathophysiology of mental disorders. Furthermore, our findings underline the complex nature of potential interactions between dopamine receptors and brain peptidergic pathways, which has potential clinical applications.

Short Communications
© Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2015 

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