Sensorimotor gating is disrupted by acute but not chronic systemic exposure to caffeine in mice

Sylvain Dubroqua, Kay Yan Benjamin Yee, Philipp Singer

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: Caffeine is a psychostimulant drug that blocks adenosine A1 and A2A receptors (A1Rs and A2ARs). However, its ability to disrupt early sensory gating as indexed by prepulse inhibition (PPI), which is consistently disrupted by other psychostimulant agents, has never been convincingly demonstrated.Objectives: To compare the impact of caffeine on PPI expression in C57BL/6 mice by two dose-response experiments differing in terms of chronicity, regimen, and route of administration. To study separately the acute effect of selective antagonists against A1R or A2AR.Methods: Caffeine (10, 30, 100 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (i.p.)) was either administered shortly before testing or via caffeinated drinking water (0.3, 1.0, 2 g/l) in home cages over 3 weeks. Two separate dose-response studies tested the acute effect of the selective A1R antagonist, 1,3 dipropyl-8 cyclopentyl xanthine (DPCPX), and the selective A2AR antagonist, 5-amino-7-(2-phenylethyl)-2-(2-furyl)-pyrazolo-[4,3-e]-1,2,4-triazolo[1,5-c] (SCH 58261) (0.2, 1.0, 5.0 mg/kg, i.p.). The two drugs were combined in a final experiment to identify their potential synergistic interaction.Results: While the two lower acute doses of caffeine attenuated PPI, the highest dose potentiated PPI. By contrast, chronic caffeine exposure did not affect PPI. Neither DPCPX nor SCH 58261 altered PPI, and no synergism was observed when the two drugs were combined.Conclusions: This is the first demonstration that acute caffeine disrupts PPI, but the relative contribution of A1R and A2AR blockade remains unclear, and possible non-adenosinergic mechanisms cannot be ruled out. The null effect under chronic caffeine exposure might involve the development of tolerance, but the precise receptor subtypes involved also warrant further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4087-4098
Number of pages12
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenosine
  • Caffeine
  • Dopamine
  • Prepulse inhibition
  • Psychostimulant
  • Startle reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine(all)

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