Kesby JP, Burne TH, McGrath JJ, Eyles DW. (2006) Biol Psychiatry. May 11; [Epub ahead of print]
BACKGROUND: Developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency has been proposed as a risk factor for schizophrenia. The behavioral phenotype of adult rats subjected to transient low prenatal vitamin D is characterized by spontaneous hyperlocomotion but normal prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle (PPI). The aim of this study was to examine the impact of selected psychotropic agents and one well-known antipsychotic agent on the behavioral phenotype of DVD deplete rats.
METHODS: Control versus DVD deplete adult rats were assessed on holeboard, open field and PPI. In the open field, animals were given MK-801 and/or haloperidol. For PPI, the animals were given apomorphine or MK-801.
RESULTS: DVD deplete rats had increased baseline locomotion on the holeboard task and increased locomotion in response to MK-801 compared to control rats. At low doses, haloperidol antagonized the MK-801 hyperactivity of DVD deplete rats preferentially and, at a high dose, resulted in a more pronounced reduction in spontaneous locomotion in DVD deplete rats. DVD depletion did not affect either baseline or drug-mediated PPI response.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that DVD deficiency is associated with a persistent alteration in neuronal systems associated with motor function but not those associated with sensory motor gating. In light of the putative association between low prenatal vitamin D and schizophrenia, the discrete behavioral differences associated with the DVD model may help elucidate the neurobiological correlates of schizophrenia.