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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003 Jan;28(1):108-18.

Dopamine D1 rather than D2 receptor agonists disrupt prepulse inhibition of startle in mice.

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Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center, Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, USA.


Although substantial literature describes the modulation of prepulse inhibition (PPI) by dopamine (DA) in rats, few reports address the effects of dopaminergic manipulations on PPI in mice. We characterized the effects of subtype-specific DA agonists in the PPI paradigm to further delineate the specific influences of each DA receptor subtype on sensorimotor gating in mice. The mixed D1/D2 agonist apomorphine and the preferential D1-family agonists SKF82958 and dihydrexidine significantly disrupted PPI, with differing or no effects on startle. In contrast to findings in rats, the D2/D3 agonist quinpirole reduced startle but had no effect on PPI. Pergolide, which has affinity for D2/D3 and D1-like receptors, reduced both startle and PPI, but only at the higher, nonspecific doses. In addition, the D1-family receptor antagonist SCH23390 blocked the PPI-disruptive effects of apomorphine on PPI, but the D2-family receptor antagonist raclopride failed to alter the disruptive effect of apomorphine. These studies reveal potential species differences in the DA receptor modulation of PPI between rats and mice, where D1-family receptors may play a more prominent and independent role in the modulation of PPI in mice than in rats. Nevertheless, due to the limited selectivity of DA receptor agonists, further studies using specific receptor knockout mice are warranted to clarify the respective roles of specific DA receptor subtypes in modulating PPI in mice.

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