Behavioural and anti-psychotic effects of Ca2+ channel blockers in rhesus monkey

Gautam Palit, Auinash Kalsotra, Rakesh Kumar, Chandishwar Nath, Mangal P. Dubey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The potential utility of Ca2+ channel blockers in the treatment of various psychiatric disorders has been recently suggested. In the present study, the behavioural and anti-psychotic effects of Ca2+ channel blockers were investigated in unrestrained rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) living together in a colony. The different behaviours categorised as social, solitary and abnormal were video recorded and analysed. Graded doses of verapamil (5-20 mg/kg, i.m.) and nimodipine (7.5-30 mg/kg, p.o.) produced a mild decrease in social and solitary behaviour without producing any cataleptic posture in the tested monkeys. In order to determine potential antipsychotic effects, Ca2+ channel blockers were studied in the model of amphetamine-induced psychosis. Amphetamine, at the dose of 2 mg/kg, i.m., induced suppression of approach, contact, grooming, and feeding, whilst vigilance (checking), stereotyped behaviour and oral hyperkinesia were increased in the monkeys. Pre-treatment with verapamil (10 and 20 mg/kg, i.m.) significantly suppressed amphetamine-induced hypervigilance, stereotypy, oral hyperkinesia and tachypnoea but was unable to reverse other amphetamine-induced behavioural effects. Nimodipine showed insignificant anti-psychotic effects at both 15 and 30 mg/kg doses. These results suggest that verapamil has a definite antipsychotic effect without any extrapyramidal side effects and thus may be of clinical significance in the treatment of psychosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 26 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • (Rhesus monkey)
  • Amphetamine
  • Antipsychotic
  • Behaviour
  • Ca channel blocker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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