The dopamine D1/D2 agonist apomorphine (0.63 mg/kg) disrupted prepulse inhibition (PPI) of acoustic startle in rats, a model of sensorimotor gating deficits observed in schizophrenia. All current antipsychotics, which antagonize D2 receptors, prevent this apomorphine-induced deficit. A novel class of antipsychotics possesses, in addition to D2 antagonist property, various levels of 5-HT1A agonist activity. Considering that the latter itself produces PPI deficits, it appeared necessary to assess the potential of this novel class of antipsychotics to reverse apomorphine-PPI deficits. Potent D2 antagonists, like haloperidol (0.63-2.5 mg/kg), risperidone (0.63-10 mg/kg), and olanzapine (0.63-40 mg/kg) prevented apomorphine PPI disruption. The atypical antipsychotics, clozapine (40 mg/kg), nemonapride (0.01-2.5 mg/kg), ziprasidone (10 mg/kg), and aripiprazole (0.01 and 10 mg/kg), which all exhibit 5-HT1A agonist properties, reversed PPI deficits at some doses only, whereas the anti-dyskinetic agent sarizotan (0.16-10 mg/kg), an efficacious 5-HT1A agonist, did not. New generation antipsychotics with marked 5-HT1A agonist properties, such as SLV313 and SSR181507 (0.0025-10 mg/kg and 0.16-10 mg/kg, respectively) did not reverse these deficits whereas bifeprunox (0.04-2.5 mg/kg) did. To reveal the contribution of 5-HT1A agonist properties in the lack of effects of SLV313 and SSR181507, we pretreated rats with the 5-HT1A antagonist WAY100635 (0.63 mg/kg). Under these conditions, significant reversal of PPI deficit was observed, indicating that D2 antagonist properties of SLV313 and SSR181507 are now sufficient to overcome the disruptive effects of apomorphine. To summarize, antipsychotics possessing agonist efficacy at 5-HT1A receptors exhibit diverse profiles against apomorphine-induced PPI deficits, depending on the balance between D2 and 5-HT1A activities, suggesting that they may display distinct activity on some aspects of gating deficits in schizophrenic patients.