Neuroleptic-induced vacuous chewing movements as an animal model of tardive dyskinesia: a study in three rat strains

C. A. Tamminga, J. M. Dale, L. Goodman, H. Kaneda, N. Kaneda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Vacuous chewing movements (VCMs) in three different rat strains developed at considerably different rates after 19 weeks of continual haloperidol treatment at an average daily dose of 1.5 mg/kg. Sprague Dawley (SD) rats displayed relatively high rates of VCMs with low variability, compared to Wistar (W) and Long Evan (LE) rats. Atropine decreased but did not abolish VCMs in two of the three strains (LE>SD). After haloperidol withdrawal, VCMs remitted gradually in all strains, but least rapidly in the SD rats. In a separate group of SD rats, VCMs were rated weekly from the start of haloperidol treatment and showed considerable interindividual variability. Even after 24 weeks of continuous haloperidol, 12 out of 32 treated rats showed no VCMs at all, while 13 out of 32 had intense movements, analogous to the clinical situation in which only some patients treated with neuroleptics develop tardive dyskinesia. These results indicate that there are individual and strain differences in the development of VCMs, and suggest that there may also be genetically determined differences in the development of tardive dyskinesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-478
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1990


  • Animal model
  • Chronic haloperidol
  • Neuroleptic
  • Rat strains
  • Tardive dyskinesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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