Prefrontal cortical neuregulin-ERBB modulation of inhibitory control in rats

Maarten Loos, Dustin Schetters, Myrthe Hoogeland, Sabine Spijker, Taco J. De Vries, Tommy Pattij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Impulse control disturbances are key features of various neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, drug addiction, Parkinson disease and schizophrenia. Whereas over the last years accumulating evidence has highlighted monoaminergic modulation of the processes underlying impulse control, investigating novel mechanisms beyond monoamines may provide new intervention strategies to ameliorate impulse control disturbances. Recent work has associated the neuregulin (Nrg)-ERBB pathway with several neuropsychiatric diseases, as well as indicated its involvement in murine measures of impulse control. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether this Nrg-ERBB signaling pathway also modulates impulsive action in rats. To this end, a group of rats was trained in the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), an operant paradigm that provides measures of visuospatial attention and inhibitory control processes. Upon stable baseline performance, the ERBB tyrosine kinase receptor inhibitor JNJ-28871063 (JNJ) was intracranially infused into the medioprefrontal cortex prior to test sessions. Results showed that JNJ dose-dependently improved measures of impulsive action. Importantly, other measures in the 5-CSRTT reflecting visuospatial attention or aspects of motivational behavior were not altered by JNJ. In conclusion, the present data strengthen a role for the Nrg-ERBB4 pathway in the prefrontal cortex in cognitive functioning, and in particular point towards involvement in the processes underlying impulse control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean journal of pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2016


  • Animals
  • Attention
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Choice Behavior
  • Cognition
  • ErbB Receptors
  • ErbB4
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Impulsivity
  • Journal Article
  • Male
  • Morpholines
  • Neuregulin
  • Neuregulins
  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Prelimbic cortex
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyrimidines
  • Rat
  • Rats
  • Reaction Time

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