Hippocampal and cortical sensory gating in rats: Effects of quinpirole microinjections in nucleus accumbens core and shell
SourceNeuroscience, 105, 1, (2001), pp. 169-180
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC SMN
Sensory processing disturbances, as measured in the P50/sensory gating paradigm, have been linked to aberrant auditory information processing and sensory overload in schizophrenic patients. In this paradigm, the response to the second of paired-click stimuli is attenuated by an inhibitory effect of the first stimulus. Sensory gating has been observed in most healthy human subjects and normal laboratory rats. Because mesolimbic dopamine has been implicated in other filtering disturbances such as prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response and given the fact that amphetamine and apomorphine have been shown to disrupt gating, this study was performed to investigate the role of mesolimbic dopamine in sensory gating. The dopamine D2 receptor agonist quinpirole (10 microg/0.5 microl) was injected bilaterally in nucleus accumbens core and shell and effects on cortical and hippocampal sensory gating were investigated. Also, effects of the dopamine D2 receptor antagonist haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg, subcutaneously) as pretreatment were studied. First, quinpirole significantly reduced both the amplitude to the first click and gating as measured in the cortex and in the hippocampus. There was a tendency for the quinpirole effects on hippocampal gating to be more pronounced in rats injected in the shell. Secondly, haloperidol did not antagonize effects of quinpirole on hippocampal parameters, whereas haloperidol pretreatment fully antagonized quinpirole effects on cortical parameters. In conclusion, gating can be significantly reduced when a dopamine agonist is specifically targeted at mesolimbic dopamine D2 receptors. However, an important consideration is that the dopaminergic effects in the present study on gating are predominantly mediated by the effects on the amplitude to the first click. This has also been suggested for systemic amphetamine injections in rats and schizophrenic patients. This casts doubt on whether dopamine receptor activation affects the putative inhibitory process between the first and the second stimulus.
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