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Neuroscience. 2000;97(3):459-68.

The effects of ibotenic acid lesions of the medial and lateral prefrontal cortex on latent inhibition, prepulse inhibition and amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion.

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Behavioural Neurobiology Laboratory, The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Schorenstrasse 16, 8603, Schwerzenbach, Switzerland.


Hypofunction of prefrontal cortical regions, such as dorsolateral and orbital regions, has been suggested to contribute to the symptomatology of schizophrenia. In the rat, the medial and the lateral prefrontal cortices are considered as homologs of the primate dorsolateral and orbital prefrontal cortices, respectively. The present study investigated in rats the effects of lesions of the medial and lateral prefrontal cortices on latent inhibition, prepulse inhibition and amphetamine-induced activity. These paradigms are known to be modulated by the mesolimbic dopaminergic system, a system that has been suggested to be involved in the symptomatology of schizophrenia. Latent inhibition and prepulse inhibition are disrupted in schizophrenic patients as well as in rats treated with amphetamine. Amphetamine-induced activity was tested under dim light (low stress) and bright light (high stress) because stressful situations selectively increase mesocortical dopamine activity. Lateral prefrontal cortex lesioned animals did not differ in their behavior from control animals in any of the paradigms used in this study. Medial prefrontal cortex lesions did not affect latent inhibition but increased prepulse inhibition. In the amphetamine-induced activity experiment, prior to drug administration, open field locomotion was reduced under bright illumination for all lesion groups. After amphetamine administration, medial prefrontal cortex lesions attenuated the hyperlocomotor effect of the drug under the dim light condition and potentiated it under the bright light condition. The results indicate that medial and lateral prefrontal cortex can be functionally differentiated by their involvement in the modulation of behavior requiring mesocorticolimbic dopamine activation. The results in amphetamine induced activity suggest that the behavioral outcomes associated with medial prefrontal cortex depend on the background (stress) against which the evaluation is made. The results also support the notion that prepulse inhibition may be a better model than latent inhibition of the symptoms of schizophrenia associated with dysfunctional prefrontal activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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