Pre-pulse inhibition of the acoustic startle eye-blink in the Göttingen minipig

Sidse Marie Arnfred, Nanna Marie Lind, Axel Kornerup Hansen, Ralf Peter Hemmingsen

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    Pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response is a measure of sensorimotor gating which has been frequently shown to be deficient in schizophrenic patients. In humans it is typically measured as the attenuation of the startle eye-blink reflex EMG when a startle eliciting noise is preceded by a weak white noise pre-pulse (PP), the interval between the PP and the startle noise stimulus (SNS) determining the degree of inhibition. Aiming at developing a new animal model of schizophrenia, we have investigated the acoustic startle eye-blink and PPI in 10 Göttingen minipigs. The stimuli and the block design of the stimulation were similar to paradigms used in human research. Initially the startle habituation across trials and blocks, secondarily the PPI at PP to SNS intervals of 30, 60, 120, 220, 520, 1020 and 2020ms was investigated. One pig out of ten did not have a startle response, and three other pigs did not have a startle response of a sufficient magnitude to demonstrate the PPI seen in the other six pigs at the expected PP intervals of 60, 120, and 220ms. Maximal inhibition was seen at the 220ms interval (mean PPI 58.6%, range -18.4 to 94.6%, N=9). Most of the results in the pigs are in accordance with findings in studies of the human startle eye-blink EMG and this initial study promotes further studies and the use of the PPI measure in the validation of minipig models of psychiatric disorders.

    Sider (fra-til)295-301
    Antal sider7
    TidsskriftBehavioural Brain Research
    Udgave nummer1-2
    StatusUdgivet - 5 maj 2004

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