Gating of information flow within the limbic system and the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, 458 Crawford Hall, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Brain Research Reviews (Impact Factor: 5.93). 04/2000; 31(2-3):330-41. DOI: 10.1016/S0165-0173(99)00049-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although first thought of as a dopaminergic disorder, there is little direct evidence to support a primary pathology in the dopamine system as the etiological factor in schizophrenia. In contrast, evidence is amassing in support of a cortical disturbance in this disorder; one consequence of which is a disruption in the cortical regulation of subcortical dopamine systems. Our studies show that the hippocampus plays a major role in this interaction, in that, along with the dopamine system, it provides a gating influence over information flow from the prefrontal cortex at the level of the nucleus accumbens. Moreover, chemically-induced disruption of the development of the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex were found to lead to pathophysiological changes in these interactions in the limbic system of adult rats. Therefore, schizophrenia is proposed to be a developmentally-related disorder, in which disruption of the hippocampal influence over the limbic system during ontogeny results in a pathological alteration of corticoaccumbens interactions in the adult organism.

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