Gestational choline supplementation does not alter adulthood effects of amphetamine or. nicotine on auditory gating in rats
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Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic psychological disorder that causes "individuals to have impaired perception of reality, possibly as a result of abnormalities in their sensory processing specifically related to the inhibitory mechanisms responsible for the gating of auditory sensory information. This deficit is easily investigated using a condition-test paradigm in which an electroencephalography (EEG) is used to record the responses to a series of paired clicks 0.5 sec apart. If a subject is able to gate, a reduction in recorded amplitude should be seen for the second, test stimulus versus the original conditioning stimulus. In contrast, schizophrenics are unable to suppress their response to the test stimulus and are therefore unable to successfully gate. Amphetamine has frequently been administered to induce schizophrenia like deficits in normal gating rats, while Nicotine has been shown to correct this deficit. The Sprague-Dawley rats used in this experiment have lost their ability to gate, which prompted investigators to supplement dams with a choline diet during gestation, as a correction was previously demonstrated in mice. Implanting the rats with recording headstages allowed them to be subjected to the test paradigm in order to test their ability to gate, as well as measure the effect of Amphetamine and Nicotine on gating parameters to determine their suitability as models in the future. Following statistical analysis of the EEG amplitudes recorded during testing, it was determined that diet had no effect on gating, but that the animals are still correctly responding to Amphetamine and Nicotine. The cause of the loss of normal auditory gating is still undetermined, but successful response to drug treatments indicates their suitability as models for future research.