Acoustic startle response is disrupted in iron-deficient rats

Erica L. Unger, Laura E. Bianco, Maggie S. Burhans, Byron Jones, John L. Beard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Diurnal effects on motor control are evident in the human disease of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), which is purported to be linked to brain iron deficiency as well as alterations in dopaminergic systems. Thus, we explored the relationship between daily rhythms, the onset of motor dysregulation and brain iron deficiency in an animal model of iron deficiency. Male and female weanling Sprague-Dawley rats consuming control (CN) or iron-deficient (ID) diets were examined weekly for acoustic startle response (ASR) and prepulse inhibition (PPI) for a 5-week period. Iron deficiency reduced the magnitude, but not timing, of the ASR at specific time points. ASR was elevated 60% at the onset of the dark cycle relative to the median of the light cycle in male CN and ID rats. The respective elevation was 400% and 150% in female CN and ID rats during the first 2 weeks of testing. The diurnal cycle of ASR response was attenuated by 3 weeks of testing in both dietary treatment groups. PPI was not affected by iron deficiency, sex, diurnal cycle or the interaction between these factors. These results thus demonstrate that iron deficiency moderately alters ASR signaling although the inhibitory pathways of ASR do not appear to be affected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-384
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Volume84
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006

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Startle Reflex
Acoustics
Rats
Iron
Brain
Rat control
Restless Legs Syndrome
Photoperiod
Testing
Nutrition
Sprague Dawley Rats
Animals
Animal Models

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Acoustic startle response is disrupted in iron-deficient rats. / Unger, Erica L.; Bianco, Laura E.; Burhans, Maggie S.; Jones, Byron; Beard, John L.

In: Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Vol. 84, No. 2, 01.06.2006, p. 378-384.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Unger, Erica L. ; Bianco, Laura E. ; Burhans, Maggie S. ; Jones, Byron ; Beard, John L. / Acoustic startle response is disrupted in iron-deficient rats. In: Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 2006 ; Vol. 84, No. 2. pp. 378-384.
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