• Journal Article

Central expression of c-Fos in neonatal male and female prairie voles in response to treatment with oxytocin

Citation

Cushing, B. S., Yamamoto, Y., Hoffman, G. E., & Carter Porges, C. (2003). Central expression of c-Fos in neonatal male and female prairie voles in response to treatment with oxytocin. Developmental Brain Research, 143(2), 129-136. DOI: 10.1016/S0165-3806(03)00105-6

Abstract

Early postnatal exposure to both exogenous and endogenous oxytocin (OT) can have long-term effects on behavior and physiology, although the mechanisms of these effects are not known. c-Fos expression was used to investigate the immediate neural effects of neonatal manipulations of OT in male and female prairie votes. On the day of birth prairie vote pups received an intraperitoneal injection of OT, a selective OT antagonist (OTA), or saline (vehicle control), while an additional group was handled but not injected. One hour after treatment brains were collected and fixed via spinning immersion and immunocytochemistry was then used to label for c-Fos immunoreactivity (IR). There were significant differences between males and females. Handled only females displayed significantly higher levels of c-Fos IR in the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MID) than males while handled males had higher c-Fos IR in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus than females. Exogenous OT stimulated neuronal activity in the supraoptic nucleus (SON) in males, while treatment with OTA increased Fos IR in the SON and was associated with reduced Fos IR in the MID in females. The results indicate that neuronal activity and responses to OT are sexually dimorphic in newborn prairie votes. In females changes in Fos expression were stimulated by treatment with OTA, suggesting that endogenous OT affects cellular activity while males responded to exogenous OT. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved