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Effects of acute restraint stress and clozapine treatment in the modulation of prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex and social interaction in Wistar rats

Grant number: 15/14125-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2016
Effective date (End): January 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Physiological Psychology
Principal Investigator:Regina Cláudia Barbosa da Silva
Grantee:Ana Keyla Werder
Host Institution: Instituto de Saúde e Sociedade (ISS). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil


Stress has been associated with a greater risk for different clinical conditions, including psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia. The aim of the present study is to test the hypothesis that exposure to stress procedure by acute restraint would affect cognitive and social function in male Wistar rats. Restraint will be used as a stressor since previous evidence shows that it is one of the most useful types of inescapable stress for the study of stress-induced behavioral alterations and neuroplastic changes. The cognitive domain of interest in this study will be attention that will be measure by the test of Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response. PPI is the reduction in the startle response caused by a low intensity non-startling stimulus (prepulse) which is presented shortly before the startle stimulus (pulse) and is an operational measure of sensorimotor gating. PPI is impaired in schizophrenia patients. Social behavior is frequently impaired in schizophrenic patients. To test social withdrawal we will use the social interaction task that measures a range of behaviors displayed by a subject when exposed to an unfamiliar conspecific. In an attempt to draw a parallel with the clinical we will also investigate the ability of the atypical antipsychotic clozapine (5 mg/kg; IP) to reverse the deficits, produced by exposure to acute restraint, in the behavioral parameters evaluated. (AU)

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