Jul 1, 1995

Effects of single and repeated exposure to apomorphine on the acoustic startle reflex and its inhibition by a visual prepulse

M K TaylorS B Schwarzkopf


The acoustic startle reflex (ASR) is inhibited by startle-irrelevant stimuli that briefly precede reflex elicitation. This effect, prepulse inhibition (PPI), is reduced in strength for animals that have received dopamine agonists, such as apomorphine (APO). Reduction in PPI is most evident for weak masked noise prepulses, thus suggesting that APO disrupts the reception of stimuli to the extent that they present a low signal-to-noise ratio. Here we examine the effect of APO on PPI produced by non-masked visual prepulses. Light flashes were given at two intensities, 40, 70, 110, or 220 ms before ASR elicitation. In phase 1 (5 weeks in duration) half of the animals received one weekly injection of APO (0.5 mg/kg, IP) and one of vehicle (VEH), while the other half received two injections of VEH. Within these groups, half were tested 30 min after the injections, the other half kept test naive (four groups total). In phase 2, following a 4-week rest, all groups were tested after a low dose of APO (0.1 mg/kg) and VEH, 1 week apart. APO eliminated PPI for a dim flash and reduced PPI for a brighter flash to a level normally obtained with the dim flash, while increasing both ASR control values and activity. The bright light was maximally...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Reflex, Acoustic
Rats, Inbred F344
Photic Stimulation

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