Pharmacopsychiatry 2010; 43(3): 99-109
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1242823
Original Paper

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Reduction of Prepulse Inhibition (PPI) after Neonatal Excitotoxic Lesion of the Ventral Thalamus in Pubertal and Adult Rats

R. Wolf1 , 2 , K. Matzke2 , K. Paelchen2 , H. Dobrowolny2 , B. Bogerts2 , H. Schwegler3
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany
  • 3Institute of Anatomy, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

received 19.11.2008 revised 12.08.2009

accepted 06.10.2009

Publication Date:
03 February 2010 (eFirst)


Background: Growing evidence indicates the role of the thalamus in schizophrenia. The ventral part of the thalamus has been investigated in a few post-mortem studies, suggesting a possible neurodevelopmental etiology of the reduced neuron number.

Methods: Here we adapt a neurodevelopmental animal model, the neonatal excitotoxic brain lesion, to the ventral thalamus (VT) of Sprague-Dawley rats. At postnatal day (PD) 7 male pups were bilaterally infused into the VT using ibotenic acid (IBA) or artificial cerebrospinal fluid. Repeated measurements of prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response, reviewed as a measure of sensorimotor gating deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, were performed during puberty and adulthood.

Results: IBA animals showed lower PPI (p<0.001) compared to controls. The extent of VT lesions correlated negatively with PPI levels (p<0.001). PPI deficits in IBA animals were observed at PD 43 and PPI levels increased significantly after puberty without reaching control levels. Acute or subchronic clozapine treatment did not significantly restore low PPI in IBA rats.

Conclusion: The present data suggest that the VT may be involved in the PPI deficits observed in schizophrenia.



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