5-HT1B receptor knockout, but not 5-HT1A receptor knockout mice, show reduced startle reactivity and footshock-induced sensitization, as measured with the acoustic startle response

A. Dirks, T. Pattij, J. Adriaan Bouwknecht, T. T. Westphal, T. H. Hijzen, L. Groenink, J. Van der Gugten, R. S. Oosting, R. Hen, M. A. Geyer, B. Olivier

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To investigate whether the hyperreactivity to mild environmental and novel stimuli in 5-HT1B receptor knockout (1BKO) mice, as suggested by measures of exploratory, aggressive, and impulsive behaviors, can be extended to phasic stimuli, 1BKO and wildtype mice were tested in acoustic startle reactivity and plasticity paradigms, including habituation, prepulse inhibition, and footshock-induced sensitization of the startle response. Furthermore, we compared 5-HT1A receptor knockout (1AKO) and 1BKO mice to further test the suggested opposite behavioral profiles in these two genotypes. Results show that startle reactivity and footshock-induced sensitization was reduced in 1BKO mice, with no changes in habituation or PPI. In contrast, 1AKO mice did not differ from WT mice in any of the measures. These results indicate that an absence of 5-HT1B receptors, but not of 5-HT1A receptors, affects the modulation of startle reactivity and footshock-induced sensitization, without influencing startle plasticity. Moreover, this study suggests that 1AKO mice display a distinct, but not opposite behavioral profile from 1BKO mice. Furthermore, it is concluded that the hyperreactivity in 1BKO mice cannot be generalized to all stimuli, including the startling stimuli used in this study, but is probably restricted to mild environmental stimuli only.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-178
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2001

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