Involvement of oxytocin system in sociability impairment of juvenile social isolation rats

[Speaker] Tanaka, Kenjiro:1
[Co-author] Osako, Yoji:1, Tomita, Koichi:1, Takahashi, Kou:1, Yuri, Kazunari:1
1:Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Kochi Medical School, Kochi University (Japan)

A posterior pituitary hormone oxytocin (OXT) has been identified to regulate social behaviors by the action on the brain in recent years. We previously reported that juvenile social isolation decreased hypothalamic OXT neurons and diminished the social recognition performance in female rats. The altered OXT system might induce sociability impairment in isolation-reared rats. In the present study to determine this hypothesis, social investigation behavior and OXT neuronal response to social stimuli were analyzed in group- and isolation-reared rats. Isolation-reared females tend to show decreased frequency of social investigation and extended latency to start to approach the stimulus animal. The number of activated hypothalamic OXT neurons following exposure to a stimulus animal was decreased in isolation-reared females. These results suggest that juvenile social isolation alters social behavior phenotype through their decreased OXT activity.
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