Pubertal isolation alters latent inhibition and DA in nucleus accumbens of adult rats

Physiol Behav. 2009 Sep 7;98(3):251-7. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.05.021. Epub 2009 Jun 13.


Puberty is a critical period for neurodevelopment of schizophrenia. In the present study, we investigated the effects of peri-pubertal social isolation on psychotic behaviors in rats and its relationship to dopamine expression. Wistar male rats were randomly divided into pubertal isolation (ISO; isolate housing, 38-51 days of age) and social (SOC) groups. Latent inhibition (LI) and behavior in open field were tested during adolescence and adulthood. After the behavioral test, dopamine (DA) levels were measured in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), nucleus accumbens (NAC), caudate-putamen (CPU), and the hippocampus (HIP). Pubertal social isolation impaired LI and increased the DA level in the NAC of young adult rats, but not adolescent rats, and enhanced open field locomotor activity in both adolescent and young adult rats. These data suggest that development of an LI deficit can be induced by social isolation during puberty after a developmental delay, and that NAC DA maybe involved in this process, which may mirror some aspects of the ontogency of schizophrenic symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Neostriatum / metabolism
  • Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sexual Maturation / physiology*
  • Social Isolation / psychology*


  • Dopamine