The disruption of prepulse inhibition by social isolation in the wistar rat: How robust is the effect?

Annette Domeney*, Joram Feldon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Postweaning isolation rearing in rats is shown to have consequences for the expression of numerous behaviors. The present studies investigated isolation induced disruptions of the prepulse inhibition (PPI) response in the Wistar rat strain, as a function of exposure of the animals to locomotor activity testing. Further, repeated testing of PPI was investigated to examine the robustness of the isolation-induced disruptions. The results indicate that experimentally naive isolation-reared animals exhibit disruptions in the PPI response that are retained in a second test 7 days later. The disruptions obtained are shown to be consistent across all pulse frequencies examined and independent of effects on startle. Exposure to activity testing, however, either before or after the measurement of PPI, abolished the isolation-induced disruption of PPI in a subsequent test. In contrast, locomotor activity testing consistently revealed a hyperactivity response in isolation-reared animals that was not influenced by the temporal occurrence of the testing. The finding are discussed relative to the interpretation of data emerging from studies where both activity testing and PPI are performed in the same animals, and in the relation to the use of PPI in isolation-reared animals as representing a nonpharmacological animal model of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-890
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Locomotor activity
  • Prepulse inhibition
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social isolation


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