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Neurosci Lett. 1996 Oct 18;217(2-3):101-4.

Septal vasopressin modulates anxiety-related behaviour in rats.

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Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.


Arginine vasopressin (AVP) or its V1 receptor antagonist d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)AVP was administered directly into the septal brain area of adult male rats by means of inverse microdialysis. Immediately after a 30-min dialysis period, during which either approximately 0.25 ng AVP or 5 ng of the V1 antagonist were delivered into the brain tissue, anxiety-related behaviour of the animals was measured on an elevated plus-maze apparatus. While synthetic AVP failed to alter plus-maze behaviour compared to vehicle-treated controls, animals treated with the V1 receptor antagonist made more entries into (P < 0.01) and spent more time on the open arms (P < 0.05), indicating reduced anxiety. Since administration of neither AVP nor the V1 antagonist significantly influenced general locomotor activity of the rats on the plus-maze and in an open field, these data point towards a critical involvement of intraseptally released AVP in the emotional evaluation of novel situations.

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