Mouse pharmacological models of cognitive disruption relevant to schizophrenia

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Abstract

Schizophrenia is a debilitating cognitive disorder. The link between cognitive debilitation and functional outcome in patients with schizophrenia has prompted research to develop procognitive therapies. It is hoped that by improving cognition in these patients, their functional outcome will also improve. Although no established treatments exist as yet, progress has been made toward understanding how to evaluate putative compounds in the clinic. Genetic mouse models and pharmacological rat models of cognitive disruption are being developed that may help to evaluate these putative compounds preclinically. Considering the increased number of genetic mouse models relevant to schizophrenia, there is a need to evaluate pharmacological manipulations on cognition in mice. Here we review the current literature on mouse pharmacological models relevant to schizophrenia. In this review, we discuss where different pharmacological effects between rats and mice on cognitive tasks are observed and assess the validity offered by these models. We conclude that the predictive validity of these models is currently difficult to assess and that much more needs to be done to develop useful mouse pharmacological models of cognitive disruption in schizophrenia.

This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘Schizophrenia’.

Highlights

▸ Reviews mouse pharmacological models pertinent to cognitive disruption in schizophrenia. ▸ Assesses the validity of such mouse models. ▸ Discusses the limitations of assuming pharmacology in mice will be consistent with rats. ▸ Offers future directions for validation and combined genetic/pharmacological models.

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