Rat brain CYP2D enzymatic metabolism alters acute and chronic haloperidol side-effects by different mechanisms

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Risk for side-effects after acute (e.g. parkinsonism) or chronic (e.g. tardive dyskinesia) treatment with antipsychotics, including haloperidol, varies substantially among people. CYP2D can metabolize many antipsychotics and variable brain CYP2D metabolism can influence local drug and metabolite levels sufficiently to alter behavioral responses. Here we investigated a role for brain CYP2D in acutely and chronically administered haloperidol levels and side-effects in a rat model.

Rat brain, but not liver, CYP2D activity was irreversibly inhibited with intracerebral propranolol and/or induced by seven days of subcutaneous nicotine pre-treatment. The role of variable brain CYP2D was investigated in rat models of acute (catalepsy) and chronic (vacuous chewing movements, VCMs) haloperidol side-effects.

Selective inhibition and induction of brain, but not liver, CYP2D decreased and increased catalepsy after acute haloperidol, respectively. Catalepsy correlated with brain, but not hepatic, CYP2D enzyme activity. Inhibition of brain CYP2D increased VCMs after chronic haloperidol; VCMs correlated with brain, but not hepatic, CYP2D activity, haloperidol levels and lipid peroxidation. Baseline measures, hepatic CYP2D activity and plasma haloperidol levels were unchanged by brain CYP2D manipulations.

Variable rat brain CYP2D alters side-effects from acute and chronic haloperidol in opposite directions; catalepsy appears to be enhanced by a brain CYP2D-derived metabolite while the parent haloperidol likely causes VCMs. These data provide novel mechanistic evidence for brain CYP2D altering side-effects of haloperidol and other antipsychotics metabolized by CYP2D, suggesting that variation in human brain CYP2D may be a risk factor for antipsychotic side-effects.

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