Prepulse inhibition of startle is a model of sensorimotor gating, which is disrupted in alcoholism, as well as mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. The fawn-hooded (FH) rat strain has been used as an animal model of alcoholism. FH rats showed significantly lower startle amplitude than Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Increasing doses of the 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT caused disruption of PPI, with the effect being significantly greater in FH rats compared to WKY rats. In all strains, treatment with 0.5 mg/kg of 8-OH-DPAT significantly reduced PPI. In contrast, 0.1 mg/kg of 8-OH-DPAT caused disruption only in the FH strain. Treatment with amphetamine, apomorphine and MK-801 also significantly reduced PPI, however, there was no difference between the strains. This study shows increased sensitivity of FH rats to the disruption of PPI caused by 5-HT(1A) receptor stimulation, suggesting a link between 5-HT(1A) receptors, sensorimotor gating and aspects of the FH rat phenotype.