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

Oxytocin facilitates the sexual receptivity of estrogen-treated female rats.

Oxytocin (OXY) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) are widely distributed within the brain and have a number of behavioral effects resulting from central administration. We have previously found that central OXY administration accelerated the onset of maternal behavior in ovariectomized (OVXed) estrogen-treated nulliparous rats. We now report that intracerebroventricular (ICV) injections of OXY enhance lordosis behavior in OVXed estrogen-treated rats. After treatment with 0.15, 0.20, or 0.25 micrograms EB IM for three days, OXY (800 ng) infusion ICV on the fourth day produced a significant increase in lordosis behavior between 20 and 90 minutes after administration. Doses of OXY between 0.8 and 5 micrograms injected ICV significantly increased lordosis behavior in animals pretreated with 0.5 micrograms EB for three days. In other OVXed rats treated with 0.5 micrograms EB for three days, ICV injections of 1 micrograms OXY or an equimolar dose of AVP significantly increased lordosis while equimolar doses of ACTH1-10, ACTH4-10, arginine-vasotocin, GnRH and alpha-MSH did not significantly increase lordosis behavior over saline vehicle levels. ACTH1-24 significantly lowered lordosis quotients. We have concluded from these data that central administration of OXY (and possibly AVP) enhance female sexual receptivity. This effect is estrogen dependent, dose related and under our test conditions, specific to OXY and AVP.[1]


  1. Oxytocin facilitates the sexual receptivity of estrogen-treated female rats. Caldwell, J.D., Prange, A.J., Pedersen, C.A. Neuropeptides (1986) [Pubmed]
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