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Physiol Behav. 1996 Apr-May;59(4-5):813-6.

Serotonin blocks vasopressin-facilitated offensive aggression: interactions within the ventrolateral hypothalamus of golden hamsters.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01655, USA.


In golden hamsters, vasopressin (AVP) microinjected within the ventrolateral hypothalamus (VLH) facilitates offensive aggression. As serotonin is known to inhibit offensive aggression, we decided to test whether AVP-facilitated behavior is also inhibited by serotonin treatment. Testosterone-treated male golden hamsters received IP injections of fluoxetine, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or vehicle 1 h prior to AVP microinjections within the VLH. The animals were tested for offensive aggression in a resident-intruder model after the microinjections, and the results were compared between groups. Pretreatment with fluoxetine inhibited AVP-facilitated offensive aggression. Only one out of nine fluoxetine-treated animals attacked and bit the intruders, compared to six out of seven vehicle-treated animals. Furthermore, we also confirmed by in vitro autoradiography that the VLH contains vasopressin V(1) and serotonin 5-HT1B receptors. Therefore, it is possible that serotonin may inhibit AVP-facilitated offensive aggression by acting directly at the level of the VLH as well as at other sites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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