Objective. A disturbance of sensorimotor gating measured by prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle (PPI) is one of the best tests of the schizophrenia-like behavior. Vasopressin was implicated in the development of schizophrenia; therefore, the naturally occurring vasopressin-deficient Brattleboro rat has been suggested to be a reliable non-pharmacological animal model. However, previous studies focusing on PPI deficit did not use proper control and despite clear gender differences in the development of the disorder, the effect of gender has been mostly neglected. Methods. First, we compared the „noise” and „tone” type prepulse at 73-77-81 dB intensity during the light or dark phase using small (~150 g) or big (~500 g) Wistar rats. The test parameters were validated by a pharmacological schizophrenia model (30 mg/kg ketamine i.p.). Than male, female, and lactating vasopressin-deficient animals were compared with +/+ ones. Results. We established that the prepulse “noise” type is not optimal for PPI testing. The cycle of the day as well as the body weight had no effect on PPI. Even if we compared vasopressin-deficient animals with their closely related +/+ controls, the PPI deficiency was visible with more pronounced effect at 77 dB prepulse intensity similarly to pharmacological schizophrenia model. Despite our expectation, the gender as well as lactation had no effect on the vasopressin-deficiency induced PPI deficit. Conclusions. The present data confirmed and extended our previous studies that vasopressin-deficient rat is a good model of schizophrenia. It seems that female as well as lactating Brattleboro rats are useful tools for testing putative novel antipsychotics in line with special attention required for schizophrenic women.
- Acoustic startle response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism