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Physiol Behav. 1993 Aug;54(2):249-58.

Site-specific effects of intracerebral injections of three neurokinins (neurokinin A, neurokinin K, and neurokinin gamma) on the expression of male rat sexual behavior.

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1
Department of Psychology, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington 61701.

Abstract

Accumulating evidence indicates that neurokinins play a role in the neural regulation of male rat copulatory behavior. We have previously reported that injections of the neurokinin substance P into the medial preoptic nucleus facilitated male rat copulatory behavior. Recently, a number of other neurokinins, neurokinin K (neuropeptide K), neurokinin A (substance K), and neurokinin gamma (derived from the same gene as substance P), have been identified in the mammalian CNS. Therefore, in a series of experiments we examined the effects on male copulatory behavior following bilateral injections of different doses of neurokinin K (NkK), neurokinin A (NkA), or neurokinin gamma (Nk gamma) into the medial preoptic area (MPOA), bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BnST), or the caudate/putamen. Bilateral injections of NkK into the MPOA or BnST inhibited the expression of male copulatory behavior. The most marked effect was seen following bilateral injections of 0.25 and 0.52 nmol of NkK into the MPOA and the BnST. These injections produced a dramatic suppression of copulatory behavior in previously sexually vigorous male rats when compared to control injections. In contrast, bilateral injections of three different doses of NkA into the MPOA failed to affect any parameter of male copulatory behavior. Bilateral injections of 0.431 nmol of Nk gamma into the MPOA failed to affect the expression of copulatory behavior, but significantly delayed its initiation when compared to controls. Bilateral injections of 0.251 nmol of NkK into the caudate/putamen had no significant effect on copulatory behavior in sexually vigorous male rats when compared to control injections. The results of the present study provide further support for a role of neurokinins in the regulation of copulatory behavior in male rat. Taken together, these results suggest that the effects of neurokinins upon the expression of male copulatory behavior are site specific for brain regions in the sexually dimorphic vomeronasal pathway which includes the MeA, BnST, and MPOA.

PMID:
7690487
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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