Dual ligands targeting dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT 1A receptors as new antipsychotical or anti-parkinsonian agents

Na Ye, Zilan Song, Ao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's disease are associated with poly-factorial pathogenic mechanisms, with several neurotransmitter systems closely involved. In addition to the cerebral dopaminergic (DA) system, the serotoninergic (5-HT) system also plays a crucial role in regulating psychoemotional, cognitive and motor functions in the central nervous system (CNS). Among the large 5-HT receptor family, accumulating data have revealed new insights into the therapeutic benefit of the 5-HT1A receptor in treating various CNS disorders, especially schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. The present review discusses the advance of dual agents with mixed actions at the dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors in the treatment of these diseases. Aripiprazole was the only marketed drug with dual D2 and 5-HT 1A profile. It is a partial D2 and 5-HT1A receptor agonist and has been prescribed as an atypical antipsychotical drug. Two other drugs Cariprazine and Pardoprunox are being investigated in clinic. Most of the other candidate compounds, including Bifeprunox, Sarizotan, Mazapertine succinate, PF-217830, and Adoprazine were discontinued due to either non-optimal pharmacokinetic properties or insufficient therapeutical efficacy. Although much effort has been done to highlight the advantages of the 5-HT 1A and D2 dual approach, it has to be pointed out that many of these drugs showed poly-pharmacological profile by targeting many other receptors and/or transporters besides the D2 and 5-HT1A receptors. In this regard, 'pure' compounds exclusively acting on the D 2 and 5-HT1A receptors are highly needed to further validate this approach. Meanwhile, safety concerns and in vivo pharmacokinetic alerts should also be implanted to the drug design art early.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-457
Number of pages21
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Atypical antipsychotics
  • Dopamine D receptor
  • Dual ligands
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Serotonin 5-HT receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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