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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2002 Nov;73(4):929-40.

Prepulse inhibition in rats with temporary inhibition/inactivation of ventral or dorsal hippocampus.

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


Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response is a measure of sensorimotor gating and is decreased in neuropsychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia. Hippocampal involvement in PPI has been the subject of several studies, in particular, as aberrant hippocampal activity has been associated with schizophrenia. In rats, chemical stimulation of the ventral hippocampus reduced PPI, while normal PPI was found following hippocampal lesions, suggesting that ventral hippocampal overactivity is detrimental for PPI, but that normal hippocampal activity does not contribute substantially to PPI. In the present study, we investigated the importance of hippocampal activity for PPI by examining PPI in Wistar rats with temporarily decreased hippocampal activity, aiming to avoid compensatory processes that may occur with permanent lesions. Bilateral ventral or dorsal hippocampal infusions of the gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABA(A)) receptor agonist muscimol (1 microg/side) or the sodium-channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX, 10 ng/side) reduced PPI. This reduction is probably neuroleptic-resistant since haloperidol and clozapine did not antagonize the muscimol-induced decreases in PPI. PPI reduction by muscimol inhibition or TTX inactivation of the dorsal or ventral hippocampus indicates that hippocampal activity contributes to sensorimotor gating, suggesting intact PPI after permanent hippocampal lesions to reflect compensatory processes. The data are discussed with respect to hippocampal dysfunction in schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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