Estrogen and haloperidol-induced versus handling-related catalepsy in male rats

Marc De Ryck, Robert E. Hruska, Ellen K. Silbergeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A single injection of 17 β-estradiol valerate produces, 6-7 days later, potentiation of neuroleptic catalepsy. Multiple behavioral measures demonstrate that this effect occurs with an acute dose of haloperidol of 0.25 mg/kg IP. An even lower dose of haloperidol (0.10 mg/kg), which fails to make control rats cataleptic, produces catalepsy in estrogen-treated animals. Thus, estrogen lowers the threshold of haloperidol-induced catalepsy. Repeated testing alone induces cataleptic reactions in control rats. Estrogen suppresses such handling-related catalepsy in animals that subsequently show potentiation of catalepsy at a dose of haloperidol (0.10 mg/kg), which has virtually no effect on control rats. Thus, in these behavioral paradigms, estrogen by itself does not produce cataleptic effects, and estrogen-induced potentiation of haloperidol catalepsy is not merely additive to an antecedent, neuroleptic-like effect of this hormone. We interpret our results in terms of (1) the relationship of cataleptic reactions in normal rats to drug-induced cataleptic states; (2) the possible relevance of our behavioral results to basal ganglia disorders; and (3) the relationship of neuroleptic catalepsy to striatal DA receptors, and their modulation by estrogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1035
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • Catalepsy
  • Estrogen
  • Haloperidol
  • Neuroleptics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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