Dorsal striatum D1-expressing neurons are involved with sensorimotor gating on prepulse inhibition test.

Research paper by Samanta S Rodrigues, Cristiane C Salum, Tatiana L TL Ferreira

Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England)


Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is a behavioral test in which the startle reflex response to a high-intensity stimulus (pulse) is inhibited by the prior presentation of a weak stimulus (prepulse). The classic neural circuitry that mediates startle response is localized in the brainstem; however, recent studies point to the contribution of structures involved in higher cognitive functions in regulating the sensorimotor gating, particularly forebrain regions innervated by dopaminergic nuclei. The aim of the present study was to verify the role of dorsal striatum (DS) and dopaminergic transmitting mediated by D1 and D2 receptors on PPI test in rats. DS inactivation induced by muscimol injection did not affect PPI (%PPI and startle response), although it impaired the locomotor activity and caused catalepsy. Infusion of D1-like antagonist SCH23390 impaired %PPI but did not disturb the startle response and locomotor activity evaluated immediately after PPI test. D2 antagonist microinjection (sulpiride) did not affect %PPI and startle response, but impaired motor activity. These results point to an important role of DS, probably mediated by direct basal ganglia pathway, on modulation of sensorimotor gating, in accordance with clinical studies showing PPI deficits in schizophrenia, Tourette syndrome, and compulsive disorders - pathologies related to basal ganglia dysfunctions.