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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Vasopressinergic modulation of stress responses in the central amygdala of the Roman high-avoidance and low-avoidance rat.

The central nucleus of the amygdala ( CEA) is selectively involved in the passive component of the behavioral (immobility) and the accompanying parasympathetic response during conditioned, stressful environmental challenges. Vasopressinergic mechanisms in the brain seem to play a role in these stress responses. The effects of the neuropeptides arginine-8-vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OXT) on modulating CEA activity during conditioned stress of inescapable footshock were studied in male Roman high-avoidance (RHA/Verh) and low-avoidance (RLA/Verh) rats, psychogenetically selected on the basis of shuttle-box acquisition behavior. In RLA/Verh rats, the cardiac and behavioral responses to the conditioned emotional stressor were bradycardia and immobility, suggesting an important role for the CEA in these rats. The RHA/Verh rats, however, failed to show any change in heart rate or immobility in response to a conditioned stress situation. The low dose of AVP (20 pg) in the CEA of conscious RLA/Verh rats caused an enhancement of the stress-induced bradycardiac and immobility response. However, the high dose of AVP (2 ng) and OXT (200 pg) attenuated the bradycardiac and immobility responses in the RLA/Verh rats. Infusion of AVP and OXT in the RHA/Verh rats failed to induce any change in heart rate or immobility. Binding studies revealed that the AVP receptor selectively binds AVP with high affinity. In contrast, the OXT receptor recognizes both AVP and OXT with a similar (but lower) affinity. This suggests that the behavioral and autonomic responses of the high dose of AVP may be caused by OXT receptor stimulation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Vasopressinergic modulation of stress responses in the central amygdala of the Roman high-avoidance and low-avoidance rat. Roozendaal, B., Wiersma, A., Driscoll, P., Koolhaas, J.M., Bohus, B. Brain Res. (1992) [Pubmed]
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