Document Type



Enlarged ventricles and reduced cortical volume are neuroanatomical abnormalities correlated with schizophrenia and typically more severe in males. The MAM model of schizophrenia is a developmental disruption model that involves exposing animals to a teratogen, methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM), to reflect the neuroanatomical traits of schizophrenia. Rodents exposed to MAM on embryonic day 17 (E17) experience a reduction of cortical volume and increased ventricular volume. Measuring brain weight and ventricular volume can be used to inversely measure the severity of cortical reduction. The circling method was used to measure the lateral ventricles of a sample of 27 rodents; 8 MAM-females, 7 MAM-males, 5 control females, and 7 control males. The body weights of all subjects were recorded for 12 weeks. There were significant effects of sex, time, and treatment on body weight as well as significant time by treatment and time by sex interactions. Rodents exposed to MAM had lower body weight throughout the 12-week period and, after puberty, the females of both the control group and MAM group had lower body weight than male counterparts. Significant effects of sex and treatment were also found on brain weight. The rodents exposed to MAM had lower average brain weight than the control groups. Finally, there was a significant interaction of sex and treatment on ventricular volume. Male rodents exposed to MAM had greater ventricular volume than all other groups, respectively. These results reflect a similar pattern of ventricular enlargement and cortical reduction to that seen in humans diagnosed with schizophrenia.



Thesis Comittee

Dr. Stephanie Penley, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Sandra Neargarder, Committee Member
Dr. Joseph Schwab, Committee Member