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Neuroscience. 2003;121(3):537-44.

Nucleus accumbens oxytocin and dopamine interact to regulate pair bond formation in female prairie voles.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology and Program in Neuroscience, Florida State University, Tallahassee 32306, USA.

Abstract

Although oxytocin (OT) and dopamine (DA) have been implicated in pair bond formation in monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), the nature of potential interactions between these two neurochemical systems and the brain circuits important for such interactions in the regulation of pair bonding have not been explored. Here, we demonstrated that access to both OT and DA D2-type receptors is necessary for pair bond formation, as blockade of either type of receptor prevented partner preferences induced by OT or a D2-type agonist. We also demonstrated that the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is a brain area important for such OT-DA interactions. In NAcc, blockade of OT receptors prevented partner preferences induced by a D2-type agonist whereas blockade of D2-type, but not D1-type, DA receptors blocked OT-induced partner preferences. Together, our data suggest that concurrent activation of OT and DA D2-type receptors in NAcc is essential for pair bond formation in female prairie voles.

PMID:
14568015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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