Article

Social dominance in male vasopressin 1b receptor knockout mice.

Department of Biological Sciences and the School of Biomedical Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA.
Hormones and Behavior (Impact Factor: 4.51). 03/2010; 58(2):257-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2010.03.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We have previously reported that mice with a targeted disruption of their vasopressin 1b receptor gene, Avpr1b, have mild impairments in social recognition and reduced aggression. The reductions in aggression are limited to social forms of aggression, i.e., maternal and inter-male aggression, while predatory aggression remains unaffected. To further clarify the role of the Avpr1b in the regulation of social behavior we first examined anxiety-like and depression-like behaviors in Avpr1b knockout (Avpr1b -/-) mice. We then went on to test the ability of Avpr1b -/- mice to form dominance hierarchies. No major differences were found between Avpr1b -/- and wildtype mice in anxiety-like behaviors, as measured using an elevated plus maze and an open field test, or depression-like behaviors, as measured using a forced swim test. In the social dominance study we found that Avpr1b -/- mice are able to form dominance hierarchies, though in early hierarchy formation dominant Avpr1b -/- mice display significantly more mounting behavior on Day 1 of testing compared to wildtype controls. Further, non-socially dominant Avpr1b -/- mice spend less time engaged in attack behavior than wildtype controls. These findings suggest that while Avpr1b -/- mice may be able to form dominance hierarchies they appear to employ alternate strategies.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Heather K Caldwell, Jan 07, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
100 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To date, much of the work in rodents implicating vasopressin (Avp) in the regulation of social behavior has focused on its action via the Avp 1a receptor (Avpr1a). However, there is mounting evidence that the Avp 1b receptor (Avpr1b) also plays a significant role in Avp's modulation of social behavior. The Avpr1b is heavily expressed on the anterior pituitary cortiocotrophs where it acts as an important modulator of the endocrine stress response. In the brain, the Avpr1b is prominent in the CA2 region of the hippocampus, but can also be found in areas such as the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and the olfactory bulb. Studies that have employed genetic knockouts or pharmacological manipulation of the Avpr1b point to the importance of central Avpr1b in the modulation of social behavior. However, there continues to be a knowledge gap in our understanding of where in the brain this is occurring, as well as how and if the central actions of Avp acting via the Avpr1b interact with the stress axis. In this review we focus on the genetic and pharmacological studies that have implicated the Avpr1b in the neural regulation of social behaviors, including social forms of aggressive behavior, social memory, and social motivation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and Social Behavior.
    Hormones and Behavior 12/2011; 61(3):277-82. DOI:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2011.11.009
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The distribution, pharmacology and function of the arginine vasopressin (Avp) 1b receptor subtype (Avpr1b) has proved more challenging to investigate compared to other members of the Avp receptor family. Avp is increasingly recognised as an important modulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, an action mediated by the Avpr1b present on anterior pituitary corticotrophs. The Avpr1b is also expressed in some peripheral tissues including pancreas and adrenal, and in the hippocampus (HIP), paraventricular nucleus and olfactory bulb of the rodent brain where its function is unknown. The central distribution of Avpr1bs is far more restricted than that of the Avpr1a, the main Avp receptor subtype found in the brain. Whether Avpr1b expression in rodent tissues is dependent on differences in the length of microsatellite dinucleotide repeats present in the 5' promoter region of the Avpr1b gene remains to be determined. One difficulty of functional studies on the Avpr1b, especially its involvement in the HPA axis response to stress, which prompted the generation of Avpr1b knockout (KO) mouse models, was the shortage of commercially available Avpr1b ligands, particularly antagonists. Research on mice lacking functional Avpr1bs has highlighted behavioural deficits in social memory and aggression. The Avpr1b KO also appears to be an excellent model to study the contribution of the Avpr1b in the HPA axis response to acute and perhaps some chronic (repeated) stressors where corticotrophin-releasing hormone and other genes involved in the HPA axis response to stress do not appear to compensate for the loss of the Avpr1b.
    Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 01/2011; 14(1):98-115. DOI:10.3109/10253890.2010.512376
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human social behavior develops under the influence of genetic, environmental, and cultural factors. Social cognition comprises our ability to understand and respond appropriately to other people's social approaches or responses. The concept embraces self-knowledge and theory of mind, or the ability to think about emotions and behavior from the perspective of another person. The neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) are now known to play an important role, affecting individual differences in parenting behavior, social recognition, and affiliative behaviors. The processes of social cognition are also supported by reward circuitry, underpinned by the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system. Reward processes build social relationships, in parenting and pair-bonding, and influence social interactions that require trust, or display altruism. The impact of emotional regulation upon social behavior, including mood and anxiety, is also mediated through the serotonergic system. Variation in activity of serotonergic networks in the brain influences emotional responsivity, including subjective feelings, physiological responses, emotional expressions, and the tendency to become engaged in action as a consequence of a feeling state. Genetic variation in the receptors associated with OT, AVP, dopamine, and serotonin has been intensively studied in humans and animal models. Recent findings are building an increasingly coherent picture of regulatory mechanisms.
    Pediatric Research 02/2011; 69(5 Pt 2):85R-91R. DOI:10.1203/PDR.0b013e318212f562

Similar Publications