Rationale: Schizophrenia has been associated with dysregulation of dopamine (DA) transmission and impairment in a number of experimental tasks, including sensorimotor gating assessed using prepulse inhibition (PPI) and selective attention assessed using latent inhibition (LI). We have demonstrated in previous studies that after withdrawal from escalating (ESC) dosages of amphetamine (AMPH), animals exhibited disruption of LI but no alteration of PPI. Moreover, these animals always showed behavioural sensitization to an AMPH challenge. Objective: In this study, we were interested in testing whether a different administration schedule would elicit disruption of both LI and PPI. Methods: Animals were treated with continuous AMPH release (via osmotic minipumps at a dosage of 10 mg kg-1 day-1 for 7 days) and tested for their performance in LI and PPI during withdrawal in a drug free state. Rats received AMPH treatment during the induction phase in their home cages or in the activity chambers. Following withdrawal, the expression of behavioural sensitization to an AMPH challenge was tested in both cases in the activity chambers. Results: Animals pretreated with AMPH from both groups did not exhibit behavioural sensitization. Withdrawal from continuous administration induced LI attenuation with no effect on PPI. Conclusions: These findings are similar to what was previously found with respect to an ESC AMPH regime. The only difference between the schedules was that the ESC AMPH schedule led to behavioural sensitization whereas the continuous AMPH did not. It is suggested that the expression of sensitization may not be a prerequisite for observed LI disruption.
- Latent inhibition
- Prepulse inhibition