Anatomy and Cell Biology Publications
Differences in Startle and Prepulse Inhibition in Contactin-associated Protein-like 2 Knock-out Rats are Associated with Sex-specific Alterations in Brainstem Neural Activity
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The contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2) gene encodes for the CASPR2 protein, which plays an essential role in neurodevelopment. Mutations in CNTNAP2 are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. Rats with a loss of function mutation in the Cntnap2 gene show increased acoustic startle response (ASR) and decreased prepulse inhibition (PPI). The neural basis of this altered auditory processing in Cntnap2 knock-out rats is currently unknown. Auditory brainstem recordings previously revealed no differences between the genotypes. The next step is to investigate brainstem structures outside of the primary auditory pathway that mediate ASR and PPI, which are the pontine reticular nucleus (PnC) and pedunculopontine tegmentum (PPTg), respectively. Multi-unit responses from the PnC and PPTg in vivo of the same rats revealed sex-specific effects of loss of CASPR2 expression on PnC activity, but no effects on PPTg activity. Female Cntnap2
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