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Neuroscience. 2009 Jan 23;158(2):705-12. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.10.031. Epub 2008 Oct 28.

N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor antagonist-induced frequency oscillations in mice recreate pattern of electrophysiological deficits in schizophrenia.

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Stanley Center for Experimental Therapeutics in Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



Electrophysiological responses to auditory stimuli have provided a useful means of elucidating mechanisms and evaluating treatments in psychiatric disorders. Deficits in gating during paired-click tasks and lack of mismatch negativity following deviant stimuli have been well characterized in patients with schizophrenia. Recently, analyses of basal, induced, and evoked frequency oscillations have gained support as additional measures of cognitive processing in patients and animal models. The purpose of this study is to examine frequency oscillations in mice across the theta (4-7.5 Hz) and gamma (31-61 Hz) bands in the context of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) hypofunction and dopaminergic hyperactivity, both of which are thought to serve as pharmacological models of schizophrenia.


Electroencephalograms (EEG) were recorded from mice in five treatment groups that consisted of haloperidol, risperidone, amphetamine, ketamine, or ketamine plus haloperidol during an auditory task. Basal, induced and evoked powers in both frequencies were calculated.


Ketamine increased basal power in the gamma band and decreased the evoked power in the theta band. The increase in basal gamma was not blocked by treatment with a conventional antipsychotic. No other treatment group was able to fully reproduce this pattern in the mice.


Ketamine-induced alterations in EEG power spectra are consistent with abnormalities in the theta and gamma frequency ranges reported in patients with schizophrenia. Our findings support the hypothesis that NMDAR hypofunction contributes to the deficits in schizophrenia and that the dopaminergic pathways alone may not account for these changes.

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