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E. Azzopardi, M. Typlt, B. Jenkins and S. Schmid Sensorimotor gating and spatial learning in α7-nicotinic receptor knockout mice Genes, Brain and Behavior 12

Article first published online: 10 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/gbb.12038

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Commercially available knockout (KO) mouse for the α7-nicotinic receptor was used to evaluate its role in sensory filtering [habituation and prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle, and habituation in the locomotor box], nicotine-enhanced sensorimotor gating and in spatial learning. Mice showed normal habituation. In contrast to previous reports, a mild but very consistent impairment of PPI was observed in these mice. Most importantly, nicotine-enhanced PPI was absent in KO animals, suggesting a crucial role of the α7-nicotinic receptor in enhancing PPI by nicotine. Spatial learning was unperturbed in these animals; however, we found some evidence for a slightly increased anxiety level.

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