acoustic startle
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Rubia M. Martin ◽  
Michael S. Bereman ◽  
Kurt C. Marsden

AbstractExposure to cyanotoxins has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. While the cyanotoxin β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has received much attention, cyanobacteria produce many cyanotoxic compounds, several of which have been detected in nature alongside BMAA, including 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (2,4-DAB) and N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine (AEG). Thus, the question of whether 2,4-DAB and AEG also cause neurotoxic effects in vivo is of great interest, as is the question of whether they interact to enhance toxicity. Here, we evaluate the toxic and neurotoxic effects of these cyanotoxins alone or in combination by measuring zebrafish larval viability and behavior after exposure. 2,4-DAB was the most potent cyanotoxin as it decreased larval viability by approximately 50% at 6 days post fertilization, while BMAA and AEG decreased viability by just 16% and 8%, respectively. Although we only observed minor neurotoxic effects on spontaneous locomotion, BMAA and AEG enhanced acoustic startle sensitivity, and they interacted in an additive manner to exert their effects. 2,4-DAB; however, only modulated startle kinematics, an indication of motor dysfunction. To investigate the mechanisms of 2,4-DAB’s effects, we analyzed the protein profile of larval zebrafish exposed to 500 µM 2,4-DAB at two time points and identified molecular signatures consistent with neurodegeneration, including disruption of metabolic pathways and downregulation of the ALS-associated genes SOD1 and UBQLN4. Together, our data demonstrate that BMAA and its isomers AEG and 2,4-DAB cause neurotoxic effects in vivo, with 2,4-DAB as the most potent of the three in the zebrafish model.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 93
Rodrigo San-Martin ◽  
Maria Zimiani ◽  
Milton de Ávila ◽  
Rosana Shuhama ◽  
Cristina Del-Ben ◽  

Background: Altered sensorimotor gating has been demonstrated by Prepulse Inhibition (PPI) tests in patients with psychosis. Recent advances in signal processing methods allow assessment of neural PPI through electroencephalogram (EEG) recording during acoustic startle response measures (classic muscular PPI). Simultaneous measurements of muscular (eye-blink) and neural gating phenomena during PPI test may help to better understand sensorial processing dysfunctions in psychosis. In this study, we aimed to assess simultaneously muscular and neural PPI in early bipolar disorder and schizophrenia patients. Method: Participants were recruited from a population-based case-control study of first episode psychosis. PPI was measured using electromyography (EMG) and EEG in pulse alone and prepulse + pulse with intervals of 30, 60, and 120 ms in early bipolar disorder (n = 18) and schizophrenia (n = 11) patients. As control group, 15 socio-economically matched healthy subjects were recruited. All subjects were evaluated with Rating Scale, Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, and Young Mania Rating Scale questionnaires at recruitment and just before PPI test. Wilcoxon ranked sum tests were used to compare PPI test results between groups. Results: In comparison to healthy participants, neural PPI was significantly reduced in PPI 30 and PPI60 among bipolar and schizophrenia patients, while muscular PPI was reduced in PPI60 and PPI120 intervals only among patients with schizophrenia. Conclusion: The combination of muscular and neural PPI evaluations suggested distinct impairment patterns among schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients. Simultaneous recording may contribute with novel information in sensory gating investigations.

2022 ◽  
Vol 19 (1) ◽  
Ninell P. Mortensen ◽  
Wimal Pathmasiri ◽  
Rodney W. Snyder ◽  
Maria Moreno Caffaro ◽  
Scott L. Watson ◽  

Abstract Background Nanoparticles (NPs) are increasingly incorporated in everyday products. To investigate the effects of early life exposure to orally ingested TiO2 NP, male and female Sprague–Dawley rat pups received four consecutive daily doses of 10 mg/kg body weight TiO2 NP (diameter: 21 ± 5 nm) or vehicle control (water) by gavage at three different pre-weaning ages: postnatal day (PND) 2–5, PND 7–10, or PND 17–20. Cardiac assessment and basic neurobehavioral tests (locomotor activity, rotarod, and acoustic startle) were conducted on PND 20. Pups were sacrificed at PND 21. Select tissues were collected, weighed, processed for neurotransmitter and metabolomics analyses. Results Heart rate was found to be significantly decreased in female pups when dosed between PND 7–10 and PND 17–20. Females dosed between PND 2–5 showed decrease acoustic startle response and when dosed between PND 7–10 showed decreased performance in the rotarod test and increased locomotor activity. Male pups dosed between PND 17–20 showed decreased locomotor activity. The concentrations of neurotransmitters and related metabolites in brain tissue and the metabolomic profile of plasma were impacted by TiO2 NP administration for all dose groups. Metabolomic pathways perturbed by TiO2 NP administration included pathways involved in amino acid and lipid metabolism. Conclusion Oral administration of TiO2 NP to rat pups impacted basic cardiac and neurobehavioral performance, neurotransmitters and related metabolites concentrations in brain tissue, and the biochemical profiles of plasma. The findings suggested that female pups were more likely to experience adverse outcome following early life exposure to oral TiO2 NP than male pups. Collectively the data from this exploratory study suggest oral administration of TiO2 NP cause adverse biological effects in an age- and sex-related manner, emphasizing the need to understand the short- and long-term effects of early life exposure to TiO2 NP.

Cells ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (12) ◽  
pp. 3503
Todd M. Stollenwerk ◽  
Cecilia J. Hillard

Both in utero exposure to maternal immune activation and cannabis use during adolescence have been associated with increased risk for the development of schizophrenia; however, whether these exposures exert synergistic effects on brain function is not known. In the present study, mild maternal immune activation (MIA) was elicited in mice with prenatal exposure to polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)), and ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was provided throughout adolescence in cereal (3 mg/kg/day for 5 days). Neither THC nor MIA pretreatments altered activity in assays used to characterize hyperdopaminergic states in adulthood: amphetamine hyperlocomotion and prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex. Adolescent THC treatment elicited deficits in spatial memory and enhanced spatial reversal learning in adult female mice in the Morris water maze, while exposure to MIA elicited female-specific deficits in fear extinction learning in adulthood. There were no effects in these assays in adult males, nor were there interactions between THC and MIA in adult females. While doses of poly(I:C) and THC were sufficient to elicit behavioral effects, particularly relating to cognitive performance in females, there was no evidence that adolescent THC exposure synergized with the risk imposed by MIA to worsen behavioral outcomes in adult mice of either sex.

2021 ◽  
Matthew L. Bosworth ◽  
Anthony R. Isles ◽  
Lawrence S. Wilkinson ◽  
Trevor Humby

ABSTRACTA number of studies implicate the loss of function (LoF) mutations affecting the histone methyl transferase SETD1A in the aetiology of a range of neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia. Here, we examined the behavioural consequences of haploinsufficiency of Setd1a in a mouse model. We find evidence for changes in a number of phenotypes of relevance to schizophrenia, including increased anxiety-related behaviour, enhanced acoustic startle response, and decreased pre-pulse inhibition of acoustic startle. The sensorimotor gating deficits in Setd1a+/- mice could not be rescued by haloperidol or risperidone, suggesting that these antipsychotics are ineffective for ameliorating schizophrenia-relevant phenotypes in Setd1a+/- mice and point to deficits in neural systems other than the monoamine system. These phenotypes are emerging as key features of a number of other mouse models of rare neurodevelopmental disorders caused by LoF mutations in genes encoding epigenome modifiers suggesting they may act in a network to modulate brain development. Taken together these data strengthen the support for the use of Setd1a haploinsufficient mice as a model for the biological basis of schizophrenia, and point towards possible underpinning neural mechanisms.

Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (23) ◽  
pp. 7387
Elena I. Zakharova ◽  
Andrey T. Proshin ◽  
Mikhail Y. Monakov ◽  
Alexander M. Dudchenko

We have previously suggested a key role of the hippocampus in the preconditioning action of moderate hypobaric hypoxia (HBH). The preconditioning efficiency of HBH is associated with acoustic startle prepulse inhibition (PPI). In rats with PPI > 40%, HBH activates the cholinergic projections of hippocampus, and PNU-282987, a selective agonist of α7 nicotinic receptors (α7nAChRs), reduces the HBH efficiency and potentiating effect on HBH of its solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO, anticholinesterase agent) when administered intraperitoneally. In order to validate the hippocampus as a key structure in the mechanism of hypoxic preconditioning and research a significance of α7nAChR activation in the hypoxic preconditioning, we performed an in vivo pharmacological study of intrahippocampal injections of PNU-282987 into the CA1 area on HBH efficiency in rats with PPI ≥ 40%. We found that PNU-282987 (30 μM) reduced HBH efficiency as with intraperitoneal administration, while DMSO (0.05%) still potentiated this effect. Thus, direct evidence of the key role of the hippocampus in the preconditioning effect of HBH and some details of this mechanism were obtained in rats with PPI ≥ 40%. The activation of α7nAChRs is not involved in the cholinergic signaling initiated by HBH or DMSO via any route of administration. Possible ways of the potentiating action of DMSO on HBH efficiency and its dependence on α7nAChRs are discussed.

2021 ◽  
Nicholas J. Santistevan ◽  
Jessica C. Nelson ◽  
Elelbin A. Ortiz ◽  
Andrew H. Miller ◽  
Dima Kenj Halabi ◽  

AbstractThe ability to filter sensory information into relevant versus irrelevant stimuli is a fundamental, conserved property of the central nervous system and is accomplished in part through habituation learning. Synaptic plasticity that underlies habituation learning has been described at the cellular level, yet the genetic regulators of this plasticity remain poorly understood, as do circuits that mediate sensory filtering. A forward genetic screen for zebrafish genes that control habituation learning identified a mutant allele doryp177 that caused reduced habituation of the acoustic startle response. Whole-genome sequencing identified the calcium voltage-gated channel auxiliary subunit alpha-2/delta-3 (cacna2d3) as a candidate gene affected in doryp177 mutants. Behavioral characterization of larvae homozygous for two additional, independently derived mutant alleles of cacna2d3, together with failure of these alleles to complement doryp177, confirmed a critical role for cacna2d3 in habituation learning. Notably, detailed analyses of the acoustic response in mutant larvae also revealed increased startle sensitivity to acoustic stimuli, suggesting a broader role for cacna2d3 in controlling innate response thresholds to acoustic stimuli. Taken together, our data demonstrate a critical role for cacna2d3 in sensory filtering, a process that is disrupted in human CNS disorders, e.g. ADHD, schizophrenia, and autism.

2021 ◽  
pp. 114340
Christopher S. Stauffer ◽  
Tyler E. Morrison ◽  
Nathan K. Meinzer ◽  
David Leung ◽  
Jessica Buffington ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Zhemeng Wu ◽  
Xiaohan Bao ◽  
Lei Liu ◽  
Liang Li

In a hazardous environment, it is fundamentally important to successfully evaluate the motion of sounds. Previous studies demonstrated “auditory looming bias” in both macaques and humans, as looming sounds that increased in intensity were processed preferentially by the brain. In this study on rats, we used a prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response paradigm to investigate whether auditory looming sound with intrinsic warning value could draw attention of the animals and dampen the startle reflex caused by the startling noise. We showed looming sound with a duration of 120 ms enhanced PPI compared with receding sound with the same duration; however, when both sound types were at shorter duration/higher change rate (i.e., 30 ms) or longer duration/lower rate (i.e., more than 160 ms), there was no PPI difference. This indicates that looming sound–induced PPI enhancement was duration dependent. We further showed that isolation rearing impaired the abilities of animals to differentiate looming and receding prepulse stimuli, although it did not abolish their discrimination between looming and stationary prepulse stimuli. This suggests that isolation rearing compromised their assessment of potential threats from approaching objects and receding objects.

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