Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Aripiprazole (7-{4-[4-(2,3-dichlorophenyl)-1-piperazinyl]butoxy}-3,4-dihydro-2(1H)-quinolinone) is a novel antipsychotic with a mechanism of action that differs from current typical and atypical antipsychotics. Aripiprazole interacts with a range of receptors, including serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] and dopamine receptors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study examined aripiprazole's interactions with 5-HT systems in vitro and in vivo to further clarify its pharmacologic properties. RESULTS: Aripiprazole produced increases in [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding to rat hippocampal membranes. Its potency (pEC(50) = 7.2) was similar to that of ziprasidone (7.1) and greater than that of 5-HT (6.7) and buspirone (6.4), a 5-HT(1A)-receptor partial agonist, whereas its intrinsic activity was similar to that of ziprasidone and buspirone. The stimulatory effect of aripiprazole was blocked by WAY-100635, a 5-HT(1A)-receptor antagonist. In in vivo electrophysiology studies, aripiprazole produced a dose-related reduction in the firing rate of 5-HT-containing dorsal raphe neurons in rats, which was both prevented and reversed by WAY-100635 administration. Aripiprazole showed a high affinity for human 5-HT(1A) receptors (K (i) = 4.2 nM) using parietal cortex membrane preparations. In membranes from cells expressing human recombinant receptors, aripiprazole bound with high affinity to 5-HT(2A) receptors (K (i) = 3.4 nM), moderate affinity to 5-HT(2C) (K (i) = 15 nM) and 5-HT(7) (K (i) = 39 nM) receptors, and low affinity to 5-HT(6) receptors (K (i) = 214 nM) and 5-HT transporter (K (i) = 98 nM). In addition, aripiprazole potently blocked 5-HT(2A)-receptor-mediated increases in intracellular Ca(2+) levels in a rat pituitary cell line (IC(50) = 11 nM). DISCUSSION: These results support a partial agonist activity for aripiprazole at 5-HT(1A) receptors in vitro and in vivo, and suggest important interactions with other 5-HT-receptor subtypes. This receptor activity profile may contribute to the antipsychotic activity of aripiprazole in humans.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychopharmacology (Berl)

Publication Date





373 - 382


Animals, Antipsychotic Agents, Aripiprazole, CHO Cells, Calcium, Cell Line, Cricetinae, Cricetulus, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Drug Interactions, Electrophysiology, Hippocampus, Humans, Male, Neurons, Piperazines, Quinolones, Radioligand Assay, Raphe Nuclei, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1A, Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A, Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists, Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Antagonists, Serotonin 5-HT2 Receptor Agonists, Serotonin 5-HT2 Receptor Antagonists, Serotonin Antagonists, Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins, Serotonin Receptor Agonists