Arginine-vasopressin (AVP) and the vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) acting within the forebrain are involved in social behavior in adult animals. Much less is known about the function of V1aR in neurobehavioral development. In the present study, at post-natal day 8 (P8) in neonatal C57BL/6J mice, we map V1aR and use an olfactory exposure paradigm to assess a role for V1aR on olfactory preferences. In addition to V1aR in the lateral septum and ventral tegmental area, we observe V1aR in the neocortex and hippocampus, not typically observed in adult mice, implicating a developmental sensitive period for V1aR to modulate these brain areas in an experience-dependent manner. Males and females were tested on P8 for orienting preferences after exposure to a non-social odor, presented either when the mother was in the home cage (contingent) or when the mother had been removed from the home cage (not contingent). Wild-type female mice show a selective orienting bias toward the exposed odor, but only in the contingent condition. Males did not show orienting bias after either training condition. Female Avpr1a(-/-) mice showed strong familiar odor bias, regardless of the training condition. This finding led us to test the ability of AVP to diminish odor bias in females. Central application of AVP eliminated odor bias in Avpr1a(+/+), but not Avpr1a(-/-) female mice. Together, these data indicate that AVP acting at V1aR eliminates the expression of familiar odor bias in neonatal mice. This suggests a developmental role for AVP on familiarity bias, which has implications for species-typical life history trajectories of social learning and natal dispersal.
"In the central nervous system, functions of VP involve memory formation, circadian rhythm, aggression of females towards other males, temperature regulation, partner preference, sexual activity, and activation of the reward brain circuitry [67, 68]. In social functions, VP is mainly shown to play a role in male social behavior and newer studies show also an involvement in female social behavior [69, 70]. VP is secreted from the neurohypophysis in response to reductions in plasma volume and increases in the plasma osmolality as well as stimulations of many blood-borne factors, such as angiotensin II . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxytocin (OXT) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide composed of nine amino acids. The functions of OXT cover a variety of social and nonsocial activity/behaviors. Therapeutic effects of OXT on aberrant social behaviors are attracting more attention, such as social memory, attachment, sexual behavior, maternal behavior, aggression, pair bonding, and trust. The nonsocial behaviors/functions of brain OXT have also received renewed attention, which covers brain development, reproduction, sex, endocrine, immune regulation, learning and memory, pain perception, energy balance, and almost all the functions of peripheral organ systems. Coordinating with brain OXT, locally produced OXT also involves the central and peripheral actions of OXT. Disorders in OXT secretion and functions can cause a series of aberrant social behaviors, such as depression, autism, and schizophrenia as well as disturbance of nonsocial behaviors/functions, such as anorexia, obesity, lactation failure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and carcinogenesis. As more and more OXT functions are identified, it is essential to provide a general view of OXT functions in order to explore the therapeutic potentials of OXT. In this review, we will focus on roles of hypothalamic OXT on central and peripheral nonsocial functions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The related neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin are involved in species-typical behavior, including social recognition behavior, maternal behavior, social bonding, communication, and aggression. A wealth of evidence from animal models demonstrates significant modulation of adult social behavior by both of these neuropeptides and their receptors. Over the last decade, there has been a flood of studies in humans also implicating a role for these neuropeptides in human social behavior. Despite popular assumptions that oxytocin is a molecule of social bonding in the infant brain, less mechanistic research emphasis has been placed on the potential role of these neuropeptides in the developmental emergence of the neural substrates of behavior. This review summarizes what is known and assumed about the developmental influence of these neuropeptides and outlines the important unanswered questions and testable hypotheses. There is tremendous translational need to understand the functions of these neuropeptides in mammalian experience-dependent development of the social brain. The activity of oxytocin and vasopressin during development should inform our understanding of individual, sex, and species differences in social behavior later in life.Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews accepted article preview online, 27 May 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.120.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 05/2014; 40(1). DOI:10.1038/npp.2014.120 · 7.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Choice tests, which are often used to examine animal preferences, can be difficult to interpret when no clear choice has been made or when using very young animals which exclude test repetition. We present a new method to evaluate the behavior in a choice test based on the orientation of the animal and illustrate its use when facing those conditions. Using rat pups in an open field maze with a choice of odors, we obtained x,y coordinates of 2 markers (head and body center) using a video-tracking freeware. Two vectors were calculated: an animal orientation vector (body to head) and a perfect orientation vector (body to odor source). The angle between the 2 vectors in each frame was converted into a scalar product ranging from 1 (pup oriented directly towards the odor source) to -1 (facing the opposite direction). A mean scalar product was calculated for each odor source, with the difference between the 2 mean scalar products indicating degree of preference for an odor. The information provided by the mean scalar product difference (MSPD) could not be obtained from other measures, such as binary choice, velocity, or distance moved. The MSPD provides a single, noncategorical value for each animal to describe degree of preference in a choice test. This variable was more effective in differentiating animals, thus allowing a reduction in the number of animals or tests necessary to reach significance.
Chemical Senses 06/2014; 39(6). DOI:10.1093/chemse/bju024 · 3.16 Impact Factor
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