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Behav Brain Res. 1999 Feb 15;99(1):7-16.

Differential modulation of lateral septal vasopressin receptor blockade in spatial learning, social recognition, and anxiety-related behaviors in rats.

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Graduate School of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences, Department of Animal Physiology, University of Groningen, Haren, Netherlands.


The role of lateral septal vasopressin (VP) in the modulation of spatial memory, social memory, and anxiety-related behavior was studied in adult, male Wistar rats. Animals were equipped with osmotic minipumps delivering the VP-antagonist d(CH2)5-D-Tyr(Et)VAVP (1 ng/0.5 microl per h) bilaterally into the lateral septum (LS). Subsequently, all rats were subjected to four behavioral tests. First, animals were tested in a spatial learning paradigm (Morris water maze; 12 trials), followed by the social recognition test. A possible role for VP in anxiety-related behavior was then studied in the shock-probe burying test and the elevated plus-maze, respectively. The results showed that VP receptor antagonism impaired social recognition and reduced open-arm activity in the plus-maze, while it had no effect on spatial learning (Morris maze) and shock-probe burying behavior. The results indicate a strong task-dependent specificity of lateral septal VP functioning.

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