Effects of Hippocampal N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Infusion on Locomotor Activity and Prepulse Inhibition: Differences Between the Dorsal and Ventral Hippocampus

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Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response and open-field locomotor activity were measured after bilateral infusion of N-methyl-D-aspartate into the ventral (0.10, 0.25, 0.50 μg/side) and dorsal (0.10, 0.25, 0.50, 0.70 μg/side) hippocampus of Wistar rats. Dose-dependent hyperactivity and disruption of PPI—behavioral effects related to psychotic symptoms—were observed after ventral infusions but were virtually absent after dorsal infusions. This functional dorsal–ventral difference might be related to the different connections of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus with the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, and prefrontal cortex, which have been implicated in the regulation of locomotor activity and PPI. Hippocampal overactivity has been associated with schizophrenia. The findings suggest that overstimulation of the ventral hippocampal projections may contribute to behavioral outcomes related to psychotic symptoms.

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