Rationale: We recently introduced a new rat model of emotional hyperthermia in which a salient stimulus activates brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis and tail artery constriction. Antipsychotic drugs, both classical and second generation, act to reduce excessive assignment of salience to objects and events in the external environment. The close association between salient occurrences and increases in body temperature suggests that antipsychotic drugs may also reduce emotional hyperthermia. Objectives: We determined whether chlorpromazine, clozapine, and risperidone dose dependently reduce emotionally elicited increases in BAT thermogenesis, cutaneous vasoconstriction, and body temperature in rats. Methods: Rats, chronically instrumented for measurement of BAT and body temperature and tail artery blood flow, singly housed, were confronted with an intruder rat (confined within a small wire-mesh cage) after systemic pre-treatment of the resident rat with vehicle or antipsychotic agent. BAT and body temperatures, tail blood flow, and behavioral activity were continuously measured. Results: Clozapine (30 μg–2 mg/kg), chlorpromazine (0.1–5 mg/kg), and risperidone (6.25 μg–1 mg/kg) robustly and dose-relatedly reduced intruder-elicited BAT thermogenesis and tail artery vasoconstriction, with consequent dose-related reduction in emotional hyperthermia. Conclusions: Chlorpromazine, a first-generation antipsychotic, as well as clozapine and risperidone, second-generation agents, dose-dependently reduce emotional hyperthermia. Dopamine D2 receptor antagonist properties of chlorpromazine do not contribute to thermoregulatory effects. Interactions with monoamine receptors are important, and these monoamine receptor interactions may also contribute to the therapeutic effects of all three antipsychotics. Thermoregulatory actions of putative antipsychotic agents may constitute a biological marker of their therapeutic properties.
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- Antipsychotic drugs
- Body temperature
- Brown adipose tissue thermogenesis
- Cutaneous blood flow
- Stress-induced hyperthermia