Indexed on: 14 Dec '07Published on: 14 Dec '07Published in: Neuropsychopharmacology
Deficits in prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle, an operational measure of sensorimotor gating, are characteristics of schizophrenia and related neuropsychiatric disorders. Previous studies in mice demonstrate a contribution of dopamine (DA) D(1)-family receptors in modulating PPI and DA D(2) receptors (D2R) in mediating the PPI-disruptive effects of amphetamine. To examine further the contributions of DA receptor subtypes in PPI, we used a combined pharmacological and genetic approach. In congenic C57BL/6 J wild-type mice, we tested whether the D1R antagonist SCH23390 or the D2/3R antagonist raclopride would attenuate the effects of the indirect DA agonist cocaine (40 mg/kg). Both the D1R and D2/3R antagonists attenuated the cocaine-induced PPI deficit. We also tested the effect of cocaine on PPI in wild-type and DA D1R, D2R, or D3R knockout mice. The cocaine-induced PPI deficit was influenced differently by the three DA receptor subtypes, being absent in D1R knockout mice, partially attenuated in D2R knockout mice, and exaggerated in D3R knockout mice. Thus, the D1R is necessary for the PPI-disruptive effects of cocaine, while the D2R partially contributes to these effects. Conversely, the D3R appears to inhibit the PPI-disruptive effects of cocaine. Uncovering neural mechanisms involved in PPI will further our understanding of substrates of sensorimotor gating and could lead to better therapeutics to treat complex cognitive disorders such as schizophrenia.