Excitotoxic lesions of the rat medial prefrontal cortex: Effects on abnormal behaviors associated with neonatal hippocampal damage
Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
Neonatal excitotoxic damage of the ventral hippocampus (VH) is a heuristic model of schizophrenia. We investigated whether: (1) neonatal damage of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has effects similar to the neonatal VH lesion; and (2) intrinsic mPFC neurons contribute to the abnormal behaviors associated with VH lesions. Neonatal rats were lesioned in the mPFC. In adulthood, they showed attenuated locomotion in response to novelty, amphetamine, and MK-801, and enhanced apomorphine-induced stereotypies as compared to controls. Striatal D1 and D2 receptor mRNAs were unaltered. Another group was lesioned in the VH and additionally in the mPFC in adulthood. Destroying mPFC neurons normalized hyperlocomotion to novelty and amphetamine of the neonatally VH lesioned rats. Thus, neonatal damage of the mPFC does not provide a heuristic model of schizophrenia-like phenomena, in contrast to analogous damage of the VH. However, mPFC intrinsic neurons that have developed in the context of abnormal hippocampal connectivity may be responsible for abnormal behaviors in the neonatally VH lesioned rats.