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 journalArticlepeer-review

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 - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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