Date of Award
Dr. Susanne Schmid
Dr. Arthur Brown
Dr. Raj Rajakumar
Prepulse inhibition (PP1) is the attenuation of a startle response brought-on by a non-startling sensory stimulus (prepulse) presented 5-1000ms before the startle-evoking stimulus. It is a measure of sensory gating that is seen disrupted in schizophrenia, and other mental disorders. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been implicated in PPI of acoustic startle at both a systemic level and at the level in which the primary startle pathway can receive modulatory input - the caudal pontine reticular nucleus (PnC). This research will help clarify the role that nicotine plays in PPI at both a systemic level and at a level of the PnC. We show that the systemic effect of nicotine is at least partly mediated by non-PnC a7 nAChRs, and that the effect of nicotine in the PnC is mainly mediated by non-a7 nAChRs (likely a4p2 nAChRs). This research helps clarify the role that nicotine plays in sensorimotor gating, and may help in drug development in schizophrenia.
Brown, Tyler Kennedy, "Nicotinic mechanisms mediating prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response (Spine title: Nicotinic mechanisms mediating PPI of the startle response)" (2010). Digitized Theses. 4129.