Stress-induced enhancement of auditory startle: An animal model of posttraumatic stress disorder

Thomas Garrick, Nancy Morrow, Arieh Y. Shalev, Spencer Eth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

An innovative animal model of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is proposed in which nonhabituation of the acoustic startle response is developed in rats subsequent to tailshock exposure. Subjects (n = 31) received 30 minutes of intermittent tail shock on 2 days followed by exposure to the tailshock apparatus on the third day. Compared to baseline startle reactions, 9 of 31 tailshock-exposed rats developed nonhabituation of startle response reactions during the subsequent 3 weeks of testing. No control rats developed nonhabituation of startle reactions over a similar time period. These data suggest that this system models useful aspects of clinical PTSD emphasizing nonhabituation of startle reactions as a dependent variable. The method consistently identifies a subgroup of rats that develop persistent nonhabituation of startle in response to a tailshock-stress paradigm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-354
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry
Volume64
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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