Article

Aberrant Hippocampal Activity Underlies the Dopamine Dysregulation in an Animal Model of Schizophrenia

Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 11/2007; 27(42):11424-30. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2847-07.2007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Evidence supports a dysregulation of subcortical dopamine (DA) system function as a common etiology of psychosis; however, the factors responsible for this aberrant DA system responsivity have not been delineated. Here, we demonstrate in an animal model of schizophrenia that a pathologically enhanced drive from the ventral hippocampus (vHipp) can result in aberrant dopamine neuron signaling. Adult rats in which development was disrupted by prenatal methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) administration display a significantly greater number of spontaneously firing ventral tegmental DA neurons. This appears to be a consequence of excessive hippocampal activity because, in MAM-treated rats, vHipp inactivation completely reversed the elevated DA neuron population activity and also normalized the augmented amphetamine-induced locomotor behavior. These data provide a direct link between hippocampal dysfunction and the hyper-responsivity of the DA system that is believed to underlie the augmented response to amphetamine in animal models and psychosis in schizophrenia patients.

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