Genetics, haloperidol-induced catalepsy and haloperidol-induced changes in acoustic startle and prepulse inhibition

James McCaughran, Elham Mahjubi, Eric Decena, Robert Hitzemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


The acoustic startle response (ASR), prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the ASR and the effects of haloperidol on the ASR and PPI were examined in C57BL/6J (B6) and DBA/2 (D2) inbred mouse strains and their F1 and F2 progeny. The startle stimulus was a 60-ms, 110-dB, 10-kHz tone; the prepulse stimuli were 20-ms white noise bursts at 56, 68 and 80 dB against a 50-dB background presented 100-ms before the startle pulse. The B6 strain showed modest PPI (25-40%); in contrast, the D2 strain showed on average no PPI and numerous individuals showed prepulse augmentation (PPA). The F2 progeny showed an intermediate PPI; however, the extreme values ranged from 200% PPA to essentially 100% PPI. Haloperidol in dose-dependent fashion, increased PPI in both the B6 and D2 strains; the threshold dose was in the range of 0.1- 0.2 mg/kg. Raclopride (0.3 mg/kg), clozapine (2 mg/kg) and risperidone (0.4 mg/kg) also increased PPI in both strains. The effects of haloperidol (0.4 mg/kg) on PPI in 140 F2 progeny were examined. For all prepulse intensities, there were highly significant (r > 0.80) and negative correlations between baseline PPI and the haloperidol-induced change in PPI. Thus, those animals that showed the greatest PPA showed the greatest haloperidol-induced increase in PPI. There was, however, significant variance in the haloperidol response; plots of the regression residuals showed the most and least responsive animals differed by almost 100% in effect on PPI. The F2 progeny were subsequently phenotyped for haloperidol-induced catalepsy. There was no association between the variation in effects on catalepsy and PPI. However, it was observed that those individuals with the poorest baseline PPI were catalepsy non-responsive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 19 1997


  • Catalepsy
  • Genetics
  • Haloperidol
  • Inbred strains
  • Prepulse inhibition
  • Schizophrenia
  • Startle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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