Acoustic Startle Reflex and Prepulse Inhibition

Abdel Mottalib Ouagazzal1, Hamid Meziane2

1 Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC), CNRS, UMR7104, Illkirch, France, 2 Institut Clinique de la Souris (ICS), Illkirch, France
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Mouse Biology
Unit Number:   
DOI:  10.1002/9780470942390.mo110132
Online Posting Date:  March, 2012
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Abstract

The completion of genome sequencing in humans and mice has opened new opportunities to study the relationship between gene expression and behavior and for development of novel therapeutic approaches for brain diseases. Recently, several international programs for large‐scale production and phenotyping of genetically modified mice have been launched (e.g., EUCOMM, EUMODIC, IMPC), and comprehensive high‐throughput behavioral phenotyping strategies have been developed (EUMORPHIA). In this context, startle reflex represents an important research tool for studying the impact of genetic manipulations not only on sensory processes but also on complex brain functions such as cognition, emotions, and movement control. In this unit, step‐by‐step protocols for measurement of acoustic startle reactivity and prepulse inhibition of startle in mice are described, and supporting experimental data presented. Curr. Protoc. Mouse Biol. 2:25‐35 © 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: startle reactivity; prepulse inhibition; anxiety; auditory function; neuropsychiatric diseases

     
 
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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Basic Protocol 1: Acoustic Startle Reactivity
  • Basic Protocol 2: Acoustic Prepulse Inhibition
  • Support Protocol 1: Calibration Procedure for SR Lab System
  • Commentary
  • Literature Cited
  • Figures
     
 
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Materials

Basic Protocol 1: Acoustic Startle Reactivity

  Materials
  • Mice of desired strain, gender and genotype, depending on the objective of the study
  • 50% ethanol in tap water
  • SR Lab system (San Diego Instruments, http://www.sandiegoinstruments.com/ also see protocol 3).
  • Sound pressure level meter
  • Movement calibration unit
NOTE: The calibration of the stimuli used and the movement sensors are fundamental in obtaining accurate test results. These parameters must be calibrated before each experiment. Since both largely depend on the type of equipment used, the manufacturer's instructions for calibration must be followed rigorously (see protocol 3 for an example using the SR Lab System).

Basic Protocol 2: Acoustic Prepulse Inhibition

  Materials
  • Mice of desired strain, gender and genotype, depending on the objective of the study
  • 50% ethanol in tap water
  • Startle device (see above and see Basic Protocol)
  • Sound pressure level meter
  • Movement calibration unit
  • Lux‐meter in case of evaluation of visual PPI
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Figures

Videos

Literature Cited

Literature Cited
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   Butler, R.W., Braff, D.L., Rausch, J.L., Jenkins, M.A., Sprock, J., and Geyer, M. 1990. Physiological evidence of exaggerated startle response in a subgroup of Vietnam veterans with combat‐related PTSD. Am. J. Psychiatry 147:1308‐1312.
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   Henry, K.R. and Chole, R.A. 1980. Age‐related auditory loss in the Mongolian gerbil. Arch. Otorhinolaryngol. 228:233‐238.
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   Johnson, K.R., Zheng, Q.Y., and Erway, L.C. 2000. A major gene affecting age‐related hearing loss is common to at least ten inbred strains of mice. Genomics 70:171‐180.
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   Mandillo, S., Tucci, V., Holter, S.M., Meziane, H., Al Banchaabouchi, M., Kallnik, M., Lad, H.V., Nolan, P.M., Ouagazzal, A.M., Coghill, E.L., Gale, K., Golini, E., Jacquot, S., Krezel, W., Parker, A., Riet, F., Schneider, I., Marazziti, D., Auwerx, J.H., Brown, S.D., Chambon, P., Rosenthal, N., Tocchini‐Valentini, G., and Wurst, W. 2008. Reliability, robustness and reproducibility in mouse behavioral phenotyping: A cross‐laboratory study. Physiol. Genomics 34:243‐255.
   Morgan, C.A. III, Grillon, C., Southwick, S.M., Davis, M., and Charney, D. 1995. Fear‐potentiated startle in posttraumatic stress disorder. Biol. Psychiatry 38:378‐385.
   Ouagazzal, A.M., Jenck, F., and Moreau, J.‐L. 2001. Drug‐induced potentiation of prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle reflex in mice: A model for detecting antipsychotic activity? Psychopharmacology 156:273‐283.
   Ouagazzal, A.M., Moreau, J.‐L., Pauly‐Evers, M., and Jenck, F. 2003. Impact of environmental housing conditions on the emotional responses of mice deficient for orphanin FQ/nociceptin peptide precursor gene. Behav. Brain. Res. 144:111‐117.
   Ouagazzal, A.M., Reiss, D., and Romand, R. 2006. Effects of age‐related hearing loss on startle reflex and prepulse inhibition in mice on pure and mixed C57BL and 129 genetic background. Behav. Brain. Res. 172:307‐315.
   Paylor, R. and Crawley, J. 1997. Inbred strain differences in prepulse inhibition of the mouse startle response. Psychopharmacology 132:169‐180.
   Ralph, R.J., Paulus, M.P., and Geyer, M.A. 2001. Strain‐specific effects of amphetamine on prepulse inhibition and patterns of locomotor behaviour in mice. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 298:148‐155.
   Reiss, D., Wolter‐Sutter, A., Krezel, W., and Ouagazzal, A.M. 2007. Effects of social crowding on emotionality and expression of hippocampal nociceptin/orphanin FQ system transcripts in mice. Behav. Brain Res. 184:167‐173.
   Swerdlow, N.R. and Geyer, M.A. 1998. Using an animal model of deficient sensorimotor gating to study the pathophysiology and new treatments of schizophrenia. Schizophr. Bull. 24:285‐301.
   Yeomans, J.S. and Frankland, P.W. 1996. The acoustic startle reflex: Neurons and connections. Brain Res. Brain Res. Rev. 21:301‐314.
   Zheng, Q.Y., Johnson, K.R., and Erway, L.C. 1999. Assessment of hearing in 80 inbred strains of mice by ABR threshold analyses. Hear Res. 130:94‐107.
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