OBJECTIVES: We examined the effects of neurotrophins and insulin-like growth factors on cell death induced by haloperidol, a typical anti-psychotic agent. METHOD: Neocortices from 14- or 15-daysold fetal mice for neuron-glia co-cultures were used for this experiment. RESULT: Twenty-four hours treatment of mouse cortical cell cultures with 30 M haloperidol-induced wide spread neuronal apoptosis characterized by cell body shrinkage, DNA fragmentation and condensation. Concurrent treatment with growth factors, BDNF, NT4/5, IGF-I and IGF-II, protect the neurons from the haloperidol-induced neuronal apoptosis(HINA) in a dose dependent manner(10-100ng/ml). CONCLUSION: The present study suggests the possibility that haloperidol toxicity can be hampered with growth factors. Further study about the mechanism underlying the protective capacity of the growth factors on HINA may lead to the development of the new protective strategy for tardive dyskinesia.