The purposes of this study were to develop a HPLC method to assay for haloperidol glucuronide (HALG); to apply this assay method to the in vitro determination of haloperidol (HAL) UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzyme kinetics in rat liver microsomes (RLM); and to identify the UGT isoforms catalyzing glucuronidation of HAL in rats. Incubation of Brij-activated RLM with HAL and UDP-glucuronic acid (UDPGA) in TRIS pH 7.4 buffer resulted in the formation of a single peak in the HPLC chromatogram at 270 nm. The identity of this peak was confirmed to be that of HALG by 1) beta-glucuronidase hydrolysis; 2) incubation without UDPGA; 3) UV spectral analysis; and 4) LC/MS/MS to yield the expected mass of 552.1. Enzyme kinetic studies using single enzyme Michaelis-Menton model showed an apparent Vmax = 271.9 +/- 10.1 pmoles min(-1) mg protein(-1) and Km = 61 +/- 7.2 microM. Glucuronidation activity in homozygous Gunn (j/j) rats was approximately 80% as compared to Sprague-Dawley RLM. HALG formation was approximately doubled in PB-induced RLM. There was no increase in glucuronidation activities in 3MC-induced RLM. The Gunn rat and the PB-induced RLM data suggest predominant but not exclusive involvement of the UGT2B family in the formation of HALG. Because the UGTs exhibit overlapping substrate specificities and most substrates are glucuronidated by more than one isoform, inhibition studies with UGT2B1 substrate probe testosterone and the UGT2B12 substrate probe borneol were conducted. UGT2B1 and UGT2B12 exhibited 40% and 90% inhibition of HAL glucuronidation, respectively. Thus, UGT2B12 and UGT 2B1 isoforms are responsible for catalyzing HAL glucuronidation in rats. Our HPLC assay provides a specific and sensitive technique for the measurement of in vitro HAL-UGT activity.