Bicuculline infusion into the accessory olfactory bulb facilitates the induction of maternal behavior in rats.
ABSTRACT The GABAA antagonist bicuculline, intracranially infused into the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), facilitated the expression of maternal behavior (MB) in virgin Wistar female rats. Behavioral effects were observed 24 hours after infusion and were injection dependent. Pheromonal stimuli, generated by the pups, are thought to exert an inhibitory effect on vomeronasal nuclei involved in MB in virgin rats. The present study investigated the possibility that a decrement in AOB output, resulting from long-term compensatory synaptic changes to chronic bicuculline infusion, would facilitate the expression of MB. The implications of our findings for the mechanisms involved in the induction of MB and the maternal experience effect are discussed.