Annual meeting of the Belgian Association for Psychological Science pages:60-60
Annual meeting of the Belgian Association for Psychological Science location:Leuven, Belgium date:26 May 2008
Mammals tend to display a startle response when presented with a sudden intense stimulus. Experimentally, such a response is reduced if the startle stimulus (usually a loud noise) is preceded within 30 to 500msec by a non-startling auditory prepulse. This sensory gating phenomenon, coined prepulse inhibition (PPI), is known to be reduced in a number of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Animal models are commonly used to investigate the neural mechanism of PPI, and possible treatments for PPI deficits that my lead to new clinical therapy. The glutamatergic system has been suggested to be critically involved in sensory gating and PPI. The various isoforms of the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) playa central role in glutamatergic neurotransmission, and we have therefore studied whether VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 heterozygous mice show alterations in sensory gating. As a first validation, injection of the non-competitive NMDA antagonist, MK801, was confirmed to reduce PPI in wildtype C57BL mice. In VGLUT mutant mice, initial results indicated that VGLUT2, but not VGLUT1 heterozygous mice showed reduced PPI. Additional data of ongoing PPI experiments with VGLUT2 heterozygous mice will be presented, and the clinical relevance of these experiments for sensory gating disorders will be discussed.