Comparing the effects of 17 beta-oestradiol and the selective oestrogen receptor modulators, raloxifene and tamoxifen, on prepulse inhibition in female rats Academic Article uri icon


  • Evidence suggests that oestrogen plays a protective role against the development and severity of schizophrenia. However, while oestrogen may be beneficial as a treatment in schizophrenia, its chronic use is associated with side-effects. Selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) may provide an alternative, however little is known about the mechanism underlying their effects in schizophrenia.We investigated the effect of raloxifene and tamoxifen on dopaminergic-induced disruptions of prepulse inhibition (PPI). PPI measures sensorimotor gating and PPI disruptions are considered an endophenotype for schizophrenia. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were either intact, ovariectomized (OVX), OVX and 17β-oestradiol-treated, OVX and raloxifene-treated (low or high dose), or OVX and tamoxifen-treated (low or high dose).The dopamine D1/D2 receptor agonist, apomorphine (0, 0.1, 0.3 and 1mg/kg), caused the expected dose-dependent disruption in PPI in intact and OVX rats. This PPI disruption was prevented in OVX rats treated with 17β-oestradiol, a high dose of raloxifene or a high dose of tamoxifen. In untreated OVX rats, average PPI was 55% after saline and 34% after 1mg/kg apomorphine treatment, a reduction of 21%. However, oestradiol-treated and raloxifene-treated OVX rats showed only a 7% PPI reduction, and tamoxifen-treated OVX rats had a 4% PPI reduction caused by apomorphine treatment. Startle amplitude was not different between the groups.The SERMs, raloxifene and tamoxifen, can prevent dopamine D1/D2 receptor-mediated disruptions of sensorimotor gating, similar to oestradiol. These data lend support for the use of SERMs as a treatment for schizophrenia.

publication date

  • 2015

has subject area