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Behav Brain Res. 2004 Dec 6;155(2):217-22.

Prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex in pigs and its disruption by d-amphetamine.

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Department of Psychiatry, H:S Bispebjerg Hospital, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle reflex is an operational measure of sensorimotor gating. The dopamine receptor agonist-mediated disruption of PPI in rats is widely used as a model of the sensorimotor gating deficiencies demonstrated in schizophrenia patients. As a possible tool for validation of a pig model of psychosis, we wished to verify the existence of PPI in landrace pigs and investigate the potential disruption of PPI by d-amphetamine (AMPH) in these animals. PPI of the acoustic startle reflex and its potential disruption by AMPH were investigated using three doses 0.5-1.5mg/kg with a paradigm including two levels of prepulses (82 and 88dB) and a prepulse (PP) interval of 60 and 120ms. We found an average PPI of the startle reflex of 25.6% and both of the investigated PP intensities and PP intervals were equally effective in this PP-inhibitive paradigm. AMPH significantly disrupted PPI and, in spite of only the 0.5mg/kg dose proved statistically significant, the results indicate this to be dose-related. We have demonstrated the phenomenon of PPI of the startle reflex in landrace pigs and its disruption by d-amphetamine. Studies of sensorimotor gating defects could be a valuable additional tool in assessing pig models of neuropsychiatric disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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