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The dtsz hamster represents a model of primary paroxysmal nonkinesiogenic dyskinesia in which dystonic episodes can be induced by stress and anxious stimuli. This disease is regarded as a basal ganglia disorder. In fact, a deficit of striatal interneurons could play a key role in the pathophysiology in dystonic hamsters. Because the involvement of limbic structures cannot be excluded so far, the density of parvalbumin-immunoreactive (PV+) interneurons was determined in the basolateral amygdala in the present study. Compared with nondystonic hamsters, the density of PV+ interneurons was moderately decreased in the dtsz mutant. The functional consequence of this finding was examined by behavioral analyses. Examinations in the elevated plus maze and in a modified open field failed to disclose an enhanced anxiety-related behavior in dtsz hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). A lower acoustic startle response and a stronger habituation in mutant hamsters than in controls correlated with a decreased body weight. Interestingly, prepulse inhibition was absent in mutant hamsters. The latter finding suggests a disturbed sensorimotor gating that can be related to alterations in both the basal ganglia nuclei and in limbic structures.