Copulation or sensory cues from the female augment Fos expression in arginine vasopressin neurons of the posterodorsal medial amygdala of male rats
Dass, Shantala Arundathi Hari
Date of Issue2014
School of Biological Sciences
Background The posterodorsal part of the medial amygdala is essential for processing reproductively salient sensory information in rodents. This is the initial brain structure where information from olfactory system and male hormones intersect. The neurochemical identity of the neurons participating in the sensory processing in medial amygdala remains presently undetermined. Many neurons in this brain structure express arginine vasopressin in a testosterone-dependent manner, suggesting that this neuropeptide is maintained by the androgenic milieu. Method Here we use Fos, a protein expressed by recently active neurons, to quantify activation of arginine vasopressin neurons after exposure to odor from physically inaccessible female. We compare it to mating with accessible female and to reproductively innocuous odor. Results We show that inaccessible female activate arginine vasopressin neurons in the male posterodorsal medial amygdala. The magnitude of activation is not further enhanced when physical access with resultant mating is granted, even though it remains undetermined if same population of AVP neurons is activated by both inaccessible female and copulation. We also show that arginine vasopressin activation cannot be fully accounted for by mere increase in the number of Fos and AVP neurons. Conclusion These observations posit a role for the medial amygdala arginine vasopressin in reproductive behaviors, suggesting that these neurons serve as integrative node between the hormonal status of the animal and the availability of reproductive opportunities.
Frontiers in zoology
© 2014 Hari Dass and Vyas; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.