Agmatine disrupts prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle reflex in rats

Uzbay T., Kayir H., Goktalay G., Yildirim M.

JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, no.6, pp.923-929, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0269881109102533
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.923-929
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: No


Agmatine is a guanidine-amine formed by the enzymatic decarboxylation of arginine. Agmatine has been proposed to be a neuromodulator and its downstream derivatives, the polyamines, have been suggested to be responsible for sensory gating deficits seen in schizophrenia. In this study, male Wistar rats underwent treatments with agmatine, vehicle or other agents known to alter sensory gating in an experimental paradigm of prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response. Apomorphine (1 mg/kg s.c.), a nonselective dopamine agonist known to disrupt PPI responses, was injected as the positive reference. Neither apomorphine nor agmatine (40-160 mg/kg i.p.) induced effects on the intensity of startle reflex without a prepulse. However, apomorphine or agmatine (160 mg/kg i.p.) disrupted the PPI of acoustic startle reflex. Furthermore, when given 30 min prior, agmatine acted additively with apomorphine's effect on PPI. In an attempt to gain more insight, haloperidol (1 and 2 mg/kg i.p.), clozapine (2.5-7.5 mg/kg i.p.) or quetiapine (2.5 and 7.5 mg/kg i.p.) was also injected prior to agmatine (160 mg/kg i.p.). Haloperidol (1 mg/kg) and clozapine (2.5 and 5 mg/kg) were able to prevent the PPI-disrupting effects of apomorphine. However, none of these antipsychotics prevent the PPI-disrupting effects of agmatine. These results suggest that agmatine disrupts the PPI of acoustic startle reflex of rats in a fundamentally different manner than apomorphine does. It may also have a critical role in the pathogenesis of sensorimotor gating-related dysfunctions.