Sensorimotor gating deficit in a developmental model of schizophrenia in male Wistar rats

Farinaz Nasirinezhad, Mohammad Mostofi, Ali Shahbazi


Background: Isolation rearing is a neurodevelopmental manipulation that produces behavioral alterations in rodents that in many ways are consistent with resemble schizophrenia. Alteration in sensorimotor gating function has been seen in post-weaning social isolation rearing model of schizophrenia. Pre pulse inhibition (PPI) response is one of the reliable tests for investigation of sensorimotor gating deficits. Genetically variation has been seen in PPI test in rodent models of schizophrenia. The aim of this study is to investigate the sensorimotor deficit in developmental models of schizophrenia in male Wistar rats.

Method: Male Wistar rats (25 days old) were randomly allocated to isolated and social experimental groups. Isolated rats were kept individually per cage, while in social groups 3-4 rats were housed in each cage for eight weeks. On the eighth week sensorimotor deficit was determined in both social and isolated groups via PPI test. Three different pulse intensities were used as pre-pulse.  PPI data were analyzed via repeated measures ANOVA across startle and pre-pulse intensities. One-way ANOVA was performed for each of the pre-pulse intensities followed by Tukey post-hoc.

Results: Isolation-reared rats showed sensorimotor gating deficits, reflected by decreased pre-pulse inhibition of the startle response compared with social rats (P<0.0001). This difference was observed in all three different intensities.

Conclusion: According to the results, we concluded that isolation rearing constitutes a valuable, noninvasive manipulation for modeling schizophrenia-like deficits in male rats. 


Schizophrenia; sensory gating; genetic; models, animal; developmental disabilities developmental model

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