Neurodevelopmental animal models of schizophrenia.

S. M. Lillrank, B. K. Lipska, D. R. Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


One difficulty in reproducing the core neurobiological features of schizophrenia in experimental animals is that most neurobiological data about the illness are inclusive: neither the inducing conditions nor the neurobiological mechanisms have been made clear. We review the advantages and limitations of animal models of schizophrenia based on neurodevelopmental hypotheses that implicate early, probably prenatal age, as the time at which the fundamental disease process occurs. These models, although principally founded on circumstantial clinical evidence of early developmental neuropathology, seem to reproduce a surprisingly broad spectrum of prominent neurobiological aspects of the disorder, and may help explain mechanisms that underlie the pathophysiology of this illness. In particular, the model based on neonatal excitotoxic hippocampal damage has provided data indicating the neurobiological plausibility of the notion that a developmental cortical defect has a delayed effect on cortical function and dopamine regulation (i.e., the neurodevelopmental hypothesis).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalClinical neuroscience (New York, N.Y.)
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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