Rats with neonatal excitotoxic damage of the ventral hippocampus display in adulthood a variety of abnormalities reminiscent of schizophrenia and are used as an animal model of this disorder. In the present study, we hypothesized that transient inactivation of ventral hippocampal activity during a critical developmental period may be sufficient to disrupt normal maturation of relevant brain systems and produce similar lasting behavioral changes. We infused tetrodotoxin (TTX) or artificial CSF into the ventral hippocampus on postnatal day 7 (P7) and assessed behavioral changes in response to stress, amphetamine, and (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo [a,d] cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate in juvenile (P35) and young adult (P56) rats. In adulthood, rats infused neonatally with TTX displayed motor hyperactivity after pharmacological stimulation and after stress compared with sham controls. Analogous TTX infusions in adult animals did not alter these behaviors later in life. These data suggest that transient loss of ventral hippocampal function during a critical time in maturation of intracortical connections permanently changes the development of neural circuits mediating certain dopamine- and NMDA-related behaviors. These results represent a potential new model of aspects of schizophrenia without involving a gross anatomic lesion.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Apr 1 2002|
- Animal model
ASJC Scopus subject areas