The influence of DHEA pretreatment on prepulse inhibition and the HPA-axis stress response in rat offspring exposed prenatally to polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidylic-acid (PIC) Academic Article uri icon


  • Prenatal exposure to maternal infection may be associated with the development of neurodevelopmental disorders as well as increased susceptibility to the development of schizophrenia. Prenatal administration of polyriboinosinic–polyribocytidilic-acid, mimicking RNA virus exposure, has been shown to induce schizophrenia-like behavioral, neurochemical and neuorophysiological abnormalities in rodent offspring. In the present study PIC prenatal administration at gestation day 15 was associated with alterations in the acoustic-startle-response/prepulse-inhibition [ASR/PPI] and the HPA-axis stress response in rat offspring on day 90. We show that pretreatment with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) reverses PIC-related ASR/PPI disruption in female rats and normalizes HPA-axis stress response in a united group of male and female rats. Further research in both animal and human studies is recommended in order to confirm these preliminary findings and their application to the understanding and management of schizophrenia and related conditions.

publication date

  • July 11, 2012