• Journal Article

Neonatal manipulation of oxytocin alters oxytocin levels in the pituitary of adult rats

Citation

Young, E., Carter Porges, C., Cushing, B. S., & Caldwell, J. D. (2005). Neonatal manipulation of oxytocin alters oxytocin levels in the pituitary of adult rats. Hormone and Metabolic Research, 37(7), 397-401. DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-870227

Abstract

The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) and its OT antagonists (OTA) in infant rats affect their behavior as adults. In this study we attempted to determine whether treating rats on the day of birth (postnatal day 1) with OT or OTA would affect brain OT levels of these rats as adults. Rat pups were injected with OT (3 mu g), OTA (0.3 mu g) or saline vehicle ip on postnatal day 1. As 60-day-old adults, treated rats were killed, and the OT content in their medial preoptic areas (MPOAs), medial hypothalami (MH) and pituitaries were assayed. In females, treatment with OTA on postnatal day I significantly decreased pituitary OT levels as adults. In males, by contrast, treatment with OTA on postnatal day 1 resulted in increased pituitary OT levels when they become adults compared to male rats treated with OT on postnatal day 1. There were no significant effects of neonatal treatment on OT levels in either the MH or MPOA. Day I postnatal treatment with OT or OTA had a long-term sexually dimorphic effect on OT levels in the pituitary