Effect of adrenalectomy and corticosterone replacement on prepulse inhibition and locomotor activity in mice Academic Article uri icon


  • 1 Stress is a risk factor in psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of different circulating levels of the adrenal steroid corticosterone (CORT) on locomotor hyperactivity and prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle, two behavioural animal models of aspects of schizophrenia. 2 Male C57BL/6J mice (n=10 per group) were anaesthetised with isoflurane and sham-operated or adrenalectomised (ADX). ADX mice were implanted with 50 mg pellets consisting of 100% cholesterol, or 2, 10 or 50 mg of CORT mixed with cholesterol. CORT pellet implantation dose dependently increased plasma CORT levels 3 weeks after surgery. Starting 1 week after surgery, mice were tested for prepulse inhibition after injection of saline or 5 mg kg(-1) of haloperidol. 3 In intact mice and in mice implanted with 10 mg of CORT, haloperidol treatment significantly increased prepulse inhibition (average values from 38 - 42 to 52%). Similar results were observed when testing the mice for amphetamine-induced locomotor hyperactivity (5 mg kg(-1)). In contrast, there was no significant effect of haloperidol in mice implanted either with cholesterol or 2 or 50 mg of CORT. 4 These results in behavioural animal models of schizophrenia suggest an important role of the stress hormone CORT in modulating dopaminergic activity in this illness.

publication date

  • June 2004