Hammock EA, Law CS, Levitt P. Vasopressin eliminates the expression of familiar odor bias in neonatal female mice through V1aR. Horm Behav 63: 352-360

Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Hormones and Behavior (Impact Factor: 4.63). 12/2012; 63(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2012.12.006
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "Additionally, experimental evidence from rodents does provide evidence consistent with the hypothesis that nonapeptides may modulate many brain regions early in development, particularly those relevant for social behavior. In rodents, the beginning of production of AVP/OT from the extrahypothalamic sources and central nonapeptide receptor expression is coincident with important milestones in early social attachment and learning (Blass, 1987; Buijs et al., 1980; Hammock et al., 2013; Petracca et al., 1986; Szot and Dorsa, 1993; Wang & Young, 1997). A limited number of experimental manipulations of nonapeptides during development in rodents provide further evidence for the organizational hypothesis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Zebra finches demonstrate selective affiliation between juvenile offspring and parents, which, like affiliation between pair partners, is characterized by proximity, vocal communication and contact behaviors. This experiment tested the hypothesis that the nonapeptide arginine vasotocin (AVT, avian homologue of vasopressin) and nonapeptide receptors play a role prior to fledging in the development of affiliative behavior. Zebra finch hatchlings of both sexes received daily intracranial injections (post-hatch days 2-8) of either AVT, Manning Compound (MC, a potent V1a receptor antagonist) or saline (vehicle control). The social development of both sexes was assessed by measuring responsiveness to isolation from the family and subsequent reunion with the male parent after fledging. In addition, we assessed the changes in affiliation with the parents, unfamiliar males, and unfamiliar females each week throughout juvenile development. Compared to controls, MC subjects showed decreased attachment to the parents and MC males did not show the normal increase in affiliative interest in opposite sex individuals as they reached reproductive maturity. In contrast, AVT subjects showed a sustained affiliative interest in parents throughout development, and males showed increased interest in opposite sex conspecifics as they matured. These results provide the first evidence suggesting that AVT and nonapeptide receptors play organizational roles in social development in a bird.
    Hormones and Behavior 10/2015; 78. DOI:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2015.10.005 · 4.63 Impact Factor
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    • "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 [71]. "
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    07/2013; 2013(4429). DOI:10.1155/2013/179272
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    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.
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