Changes in brain functional connectivity after chronic haloperidol in rats: A network analysis

Anne L. Wheeler, Meaghan C. Creed, Aristotle N. Voineskos, José N. Nobrega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Although the effects of haloperidol (HAL) have been extensively examined in experimental animals at the cellular and brain regional levels, the effects of prolonged HAL treatment on functional connectivity in the brain have not yet been addressed. Here we used expression of the immediate early gene zif268 as a marker of neural activity to examine changes in brain regional interactivity after 12 wk of HAL treatment in rats. zif268 expression was measured by in situ hybridization in 83 brain regions of HAL- and vehicle (VEH)-treated controls and correlations among all brain regions were computed separately for the two treatment groups. The strongest correlations in each group were used for network construction. It was found that VEH and HAL networks were equally segregated and integrated, and that both networks display small world organization. Compared to the VEH network, the HAL network showed enhanced interactivity between the dorsolateral striatum and thalamus, and between different subdivisions of the thalamus. It will be of interest to determine the extent to which the observed changes in functional connectivity may be related to dyskinesias, to changes in motivated behaviours and/or to the therapeutic effects of chronic HAL. By identifying the connectivity features of a chronic HAL network in the absence of other manipulations, the current findings may provide a reference signature pattern to be targeted in future efforts to discriminate between the neural bases of different behavioural outcomes arising from chronic HAL treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1138
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 20 2014


  • erg-1
  • functional connectivity
  • graph theory analysis
  • haloperidol
  • krox-24
  • network analysis
  • tardive dyskinesia


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