Medical School

Postgraduate research profiles


Christopher Stoddart

Phone: (+61 4) 3720 2652
Fax: (+61 8) 9346 3469


Start date

Mar 2001

Submission date

Sep 2009

Christopher Stoddart


Inheritance of dopaminergic phenotypes in congenic strains of C3H/ mice and their relationships to a novel method of PPI analysis


Rodent prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex (PPI) and dopamine-induced modulations of PPI are pre-clinical models for reductions in PPI commonly observed in patients with symptoms relating to psychosis. Mice represent a convenient rodent model to investigate inheritance of such features due to their ease of breeding and genetic modification. This project investigates the inheritance of a number of dopaminergic phenotypes, such as dopamine-induced hypothermia and dopamine-induced disruptions to PPI. There is much debate over the similarities and differences of rodent and human models of PPI. Much of the reported species differences relate to different sensory perceptions of acoustic stimuli rather than differences in the neurobiology of PPI. The PPI model being developed in this project can more accurately determine whether differences in the model are pharmacological or parametric. Overall, this novel procedure can be used to standardise species differences in PPI and this project specifically seeks to characterise the murine phenotypes of the novel procedure in C3H/ mice.

Why my research is important

Mouse PPI and the genes that may mediate a deficient PPI response is poorly understood. Characterisation of murine responses combined with chromosome mapping in recombinant mice may help us to understand the neurobiology underlying the PPI deficits seen in patients with pyschosis.


  • W.A.I.M.R. (ended)
  • N.H.M.R.C. (ended)