Skip to main content
Changes in Calcineurin Expression Induced in the Rat Brain by the Administration of Antipsychotics
Journal of Neurochemistry (2005)
  • W. J. Rushlow, The University of Western Ontario
  • Y. H. Seah, The University of Western Ontario
  • Daniel Belliveau, The University of Western Ontario
  • N. Rajakumar, The University of Western Ontario
Calcineurin (CN) was recently identified as a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia as well as showing altered RNA expression levels in the post-mortem brains of individuals with schizophrenia. CN knockout mice show a number of behaviours associated with schizophrenia, including deficits in sensorimotor gating, suggesting a link between CN and psychosis. Concurrently, we found, using genome screening techniques, that antipsychotics alter CN expression levels. Therefore, western blotting, in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry and phosphatase assays were employed to determine what effect antipsychotics have on CN. The results indicate that clozapine, risperidone and haloperidol cause substantial reductions in the A subunit of CN but not CN B at both the RNA and protein levels in the striatum and prefrontal cortex. The changes could only be observed after repeated treatment with antipsychotics but not after acute administration. The alterations in CN protein levels were specific to antipsychotics and mediated by D2 dopamine receptor antagonism. However, despite reductions in CN protein levels, the phosphatase activity of CN was significantly elevated after treatment with antipsychotics. Collectively the results suggest that CN may be a common target for antipsychotics and that antipsychotic-induced alterations in CN may represent one of the mechanisms by which antipsychotics alleviate psychosis
  • antipsychotic,
  • calcineurin,
  • dopamine receptor,
  • schizophrenia,
  • signal transduction,
  • striatum
Publication Date
Citation Information
W. J. Rushlow, Y. H. Seah, Daniel Belliveau and N. Rajakumar. "Changes in Calcineurin Expression Induced in the Rat Brain by the Administration of Antipsychotics" Journal of Neurochemistry Vol. 94 Iss. 3 (2005)
Available at: