• Journal Article

Corticotropin-releasing factor induces social preferences in male prairie voles


DeVries, A. C., Guptaa, T., Cardillo, S., Cho, M., & Carter Porges, C. (2002). Corticotropin-releasing factor induces social preferences in male prairie voles. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 27(6), 705-714. DOI: 10.1016/S0306-4530(01)00073-7


Exposure to stressors facilitates the formation of social preferences in monogamous male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). In the present study, the hypothesis was tested that treatment with corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a neuropeptide released during stress, is capable of inducing social preferences in male prairie voles. The effects of five doses of CRF (0.01, 0.1, 1.0, 10 and 100 ng; i.c.v.) on social preference were assessed. Exogenous CRF did not alter the amount of social contact that occurred between the experimental animal and partner during the initial cohabitation period. However, when tested after 3 h of cohabitation, animals that had been treated with 0.1 or 1.0 ng CRF spent significantly more time in physical contact with the partner than a stranger. In contrast, 3 h of cohabitation was not sufficient to induce social preferences in animals pre-treated with an artificial CSF vehicle or other doses of CRF. Furthermore, co-administration of a CRF receptor antagonist prevented the formation of CRF-induced social preferences. These data provide support for a role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in social bonding in prairie voles. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd