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A neurobiological model for pair-bond formation has emerged from studies in monogamous rodents. The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin contribute to the processing of social cues necessary for individual recognition. Mesolimbic dopamine is involved in reinforcement and reward learning. Concurrent activation of neuropeptide and dopamine receptors in the(More)
Central vasopressin pathways have been implicated in the mediation of paternal behavior, selective aggression, and affiliation in monogamous prairie voles. Here we demonstrate markedly different patterns of brain vasopressin receptor binding in the monogamous prairie vole and the congeneric nonmonogamous (promiscuous) montane vole. Vasopressin binding was(More)
This study examined the role of dopamine (DA) in partner preference (PP) formation in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). The nonspecific DA antagonist haloperidol blocked mating-induced PP, whereas the nonspecific DA agonist apomorphine induced PP without mating. The D2 antagonist eticlopride, but not the D1 antagonist SCH23390, blocked PP,(More)
The involvement of dopamine within the nucleus accumbens in the formation and maintenance of pair bonds was assessed in a series of experiments using the monogamous prairie vole. We show that dopamine transmission that promotes pair bond formation occurs within the rostral shell of the nucleus accumbens, but not in its core or caudal shell. Within this(More)
Although oxytocin (OT) and dopamine (DA) have been implicated in pair bond formation in monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), the nature of potential interactions between these two neurochemical systems and the brain circuits important for such interactions in the regulation of pair bonding have not been explored. Here, we demonstrated that(More)
The molecular mechanisms underlying the evolution of complex behaviour are poorly understood. The mammalian genus Microtus provides an excellent model for investigating the evolution of social behaviour. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) exhibit a monogamous social structure in nature, whereas closely related meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) are(More)
Although the role of nucleus accumbens (NAcc) dopamine (DA) in reward learning has been extensively studied, few investigations have addressed its involvement in learning socially relevant information. Here, we have examined the involvement of NAcc DA in social attachment of the "monogamous" prairie vole (Microtus orchrogaster). We first demonstrated that(More)
After pair-bonding, male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) display aggression toward novel females but not toward their female partner. Here we show that this selective aggression in pair-bonded male prairie voles is associated with increased release of vasopressin (AVP) in the anterior hypothalamus (AH). Pharmacological activation of AVP-V1a receptors(More)
Forced swimming, as an effective stressor, has been found to facilitate the development of pair bonds in male but to interfere with this behaviour in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). In the present study, we found that forced swimming differentially influenced the expression of messenger RNA for vasopressin, oxytocin and corticotrophin-releasing(More)
Although the protective effects of social bonds on drug use/abuse have been well documented, we know little about the underlying neural mechanisms. Using the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)--a socially monogamous rodent that forms long-term pair bonds after mating--we demonstrate that amphetamine (AMPH) conditioning induced a conditioned place(More)