Several novel antipsychotics, such as aripiprazole, bifeprunox, SSR181507 [(3-exo)-8-benzoyl-N-(((2S)7-chloro-2,3-dihydro-1,4-benzodioxin-1-yl)methyl)-8-azabicyclo(3.2.1)octane-3-methanamine], and SLV313 [1-(2,3-dihydro-benzo[1,4]dioxin-5-yl)-4-[5-(4-fluorophenyl)-pyridin-3-ylmethyl]-piperazine], activate serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)1A receptors. Such activity is associated with enhanced treatment of negative symptoms and cognitive deficits, which may be mediated by modulation of cerebral dopamine and serotonin levels. We employed microdialysis coupled to high pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection to examine 5-HT1A receptor activation in the modulation of extracellular dopamine in medial prefrontal cortex and serotonin in hippocampus of freely moving rats. The above compounds were compared with drugs that have less interaction with 5-HT1A receptors (clozapine, nemonapride, ziprasidone, olanzapine, risperidone, and haloperidol). Hippocampal 5-HT was decreased by bifeprunox, SSR181507, SLV313, sarizotan, and nemonapride, effects similar to those seen with the 5-HT1A agonist, (+)-8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin [(+)8-OH-DPAT], consistent with activation of 5-HT1A autoreceptors. These decreases were reversed by the selective 5-HT1A antagonist, WAY100635 [N-[2-[4-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1-piperazinyl]ethyl]-N-(2-pyridinyl)cyclohexanecarboxamide]. In contrast, haloperidol, risperidone, clozapine, olanzapine, ziprasidone, and aripiprazole did not significantly modify hippocampal serotonin levels. In medial prefrontal cortex, dopamine levels were increased by SSR181507, SLV313, sarizotan, and (+)8-OH-DPAT. These effects were reversed by WAY100635, indicating mediation by 5-HT1A receptors. In contrast, the increases in dopamine levels induced by clozapine, risperidone, olanzapine, and ziprasidone were not blocked by WAY100635, consistent with predominant influence of other mechanisms in the actions of these drugs. Haloperidol, nemonapride, and the D2 partial agonists, aripiprazole and bifeprunox, did not significantly alter dopamine release. Taken together, these data demonstrate the diverse contribution of 5-HT1A receptor activation to the profile of antipsychotics and suggest that novel drugs selectively targeting D2 and 5-HT1A receptors may present distinctive therapeutic properties.