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February 1960

Rat Behavior Changes in Response to a Blood Factor from Normal and Psychotic Persons

Author Affiliations

Shrewsbury, Mass.
From the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology (Dr. Bergen, Staff Member; Dr. Hoagland, Executive Director), The Protein Foundation (Dr. Pennell, Director), and Medfield State Hospital (Dr. Freeman, Director of Research).

AMA Arch Neurol. 1960;2(2):146-150. doi:10.1001/archneur.1960.03840080032006

Heath et al.1 reported several years ago that a protein substance extracted from the blood of schizophrenic patients would produce transient psychotic symptoms when injected into nonpsychotic persons. Comparable protein fractions from normal subjects were without such effects. Recently, Winter and Flataker2 have stated that injections of plasma and serum from psychotic patients affect the performance of trained rats in a manner quantitatively, and possibly qualitatively, different from that elicited by samples from nonpsychotic subjects. We have used the Winter and Flataker test3 to investigate possible differences in plasma protein fractions from psychotic and from nonpsychotic persons when they are injected intraperitoneally into rats.

Methods  Young male Holtzman rats, weighing approximately 80 gm., are placed on restricted rations and taught to climb a vertical rope 5 ft. high. The hungry rats, when placed on a platform near the base of the apparatus, learn to run quickly

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