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We report the development of a new assay as an alternative to direct DNA sequencing to measure RNA-edited variation in tissue. The new assay has been validated and is accurate, cheaper, more rapid, and less labor-intensive than DNA sequencing. We also outline the statistical modeling required for analyses of the hierarchical, clustered RNA-editing data generated in these studies. Using the new technique, we analyzed the effects of long-term antipsychotic medication on serotonin-2C receptor (5-HT2CR) RNA editing in rat brain. Our hypothesis that a drug with high affinity for 5-HT2CR, such as clozapine, would alter its RNA-editing profile was not confirmed. Whereas haloperidol, a typical antipsychotic drug that is primarily a dopamine receptor antagonist, reduced 5-HT2C VNV isoform frequency and the level of RNA editing at the D site, risperidone and not the prototype atypical antipsychotic drug clozapine increased the frequency of 5-HT2C VNV and D-site editing. Our data emphasize that caution is required in the interpretation of RNA-editing data in studies of psychiatric disorders, because these studies usually include subjects who received long-term exposure to medication. This newly established method will facilitate high-throughput investigations of RNA editing in disease pathology and in the pharmacological activity of drugs.

Original publication




Journal article


Mol Pharmacol

Publication Date





711 - 719


Animals, Antipsychotic Agents, Base Sequence, Brain, Cluster Analysis, DNA Primers, Male, RNA Editing, RNA, Messenger, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C