Amphetamine disruption of prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle is reversed by depletion of mesolimbic dopamine

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1990;100(3):413-6. doi: 10.1007/BF02244616.


Previous studies have demonstrated that dopamine (DA) agonists disrupt sensorimotor gating as measured by prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response (ASR) in rats; other reports suggest that this stimulant-induced disruption of PPI may reflect drug-induced increases in ASR amplitude rather than changes in sensorimotor gating. In the current study, 6-hydroxydopamine lesions that depleted dopamine from the nucleus accumbens, olfactory tubercles and anterior striatum reversed the disruption of PPI caused by amphetamine (AMPH), but did not disrupt AMPH potentiation of ASR baseline. These findings strongly suggest that increased mesolimbic DA activity is one substrate of the AMPH-induced disruption of PPI; in contrast, AMPH potentiation of baseline startle amplitude may be independent of mesolimbic DA activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects
  • Dextroamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Limbic System / drug effects
  • Limbic System / physiology*
  • Male
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reflex, Startle / drug effects*


  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Dopamine