• Journal Article

Cardiac regulation in the socially monogamous prairie vole

Citation

Grippo, A. J., Lamb, D. G., Carter Porges, C., & Porges, S. (2007). Cardiac regulation in the socially monogamous prairie vole. Physiology & Behavior, 90(2-3), 386-393. DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2006.09.037

Abstract

Social experiences, both positive and negative, may influence cardiovascular regulation. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are socially monogamous rodents that form social bonds similar to those seen in primates, and this species may provide a useful model for investigating neural and social regulation of cardiac function. Cardiac regulation has not been studied previously in the prairie vole. Radiotelemetry transmitters were implanted into adult female prairie voles under anesthesia, and electrocardiographic parameters were recorded. Autonomic blockade was performed using atenolol (8 mg/kg ip) and atropine methyl nitrate (4 mg/kg ip). Several variables were evaluated, including heart rate (HR), HR variability and the amplitude of respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Sympathetic blockade significantly reduced HR. Parasympathetic blockade significantly increased HR, and reduced HR variability and the amplitude of respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Combined autonomic blockade significantly increased HR, and reduced HR variability and respiratory sinus arrhythmia amplitude. The data indicate that autonomic function in prairie voles shares similarities with primates, with a predominant vagal influence on cardiac regulation. The current results provide a foundation for studying neural and social regulation of cardiac function during different behavioral states in this socially monogamous rodent model. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved