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Horm Behav. 2017 Apr;90:113-119. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2017.02.013. Epub 2017 Mar 17.

Opposite effects of nonapeptide antagonists on paternal behavior in the teleost fish Amphiprion ocellaris.

Author information

1
Program for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801, USA; Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801, USA. Electronic address: deangelr@illinois.edu.
2
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
3
Program for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801, USA; Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

Abstract

The nonapeptides isotocin (IT) and arginine vasotocin (AVT), along with their mammalian homologs oxytocin and arginine vasopressin, are well known regulators of social behaviors across vertebrate taxa. However, little is known about their involvement in paternal care. Here, we measured the effect of an IT and an AVT V1a receptor antagonist on paternal behaviors in the primarily paternal teleost Amphiprion ocellaris. We also measured the effect of the IT receptor antagonist on aggression in dyadic contests between two non-reproductive fish to assess specificity of the effect on paternal behaviors. Individual differences in levels of paternal behaviors (nips, fanning the eggs, and proportion of the time in the nest) were consistent across spawning cycles when no treatments were administered. The IT receptor antagonist severely reduced paternal behaviors but had no effect on aggression, whereas the AVT V1a receptor antagonist increased paternal behaviors. These results support the idea that IT signaling is crucial for the expression of paternal behavior in A. ocellaris. Based on a previous study showing that the AVT V1a antagonist decreases aggression in dyadic contests, we hypothesize that the antagonist enhances paternal behavior indirectly by reducing vigilance and aggression, thereby alleviating effort directed towards other competing behaviors and allowing for the increased expression of paternal behaviors.

KEYWORDS:

Aggression; Anemonefish; Arginine vasopressin; Arginine vasotocin; Isotocin; Manning compound; Oxytocin; Parenting; Paternal behavior; Social behavior

PMID:
28288796
DOI:
10.1016/j.yhbeh.2017.02.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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