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Central oxytocin administration reduces
stress-induced corticosterone release and anxiety behavior in rats.
Windle RJ; Shanks N; Lightman SL; Ingram CD
Department of Anatomy, School of Medical
Sciences, University of Bristol, United Kingdom. email@example.com
Endocrinology 1997 Jul;138(7):2829-34
NLM CIT. ID:
Endocrine responses to noise stress and
anxiety-related behaviors were measured in groups of ovariectomized, estradiol-treated
female rats given central infusions of oxytocin. Control animals receiving isotonic saline
showed a large increase in plasma corticosterone concentrations in response to 10 min of
white noise. This response to noise stress was significantly and dose dependently
decreased by oxytocin administered intracerebroventricularly at 10 or 100 ng/h for 5 days.
Oxytocin also significantly decreased rearing behavior during this stress. When a second
noise stress was given 3 days after cessation of oxytocin infusion, corticosterone
responses did not differ between the control and previously oxytocin-infused animals.
Administration of vasopressin had no significant effect on either the corticosterone or
behavioral responses to noise stress. Anxiety-related behaviors were measured on the
elevated plus-maze. No significant differences were seen in maze exploration between
saline- and oxytocin-treated animals when housed and tested in the same environment.
However, when animals were mildly stressed by testing in an unfamiliar environment,
oxytocin-treated animals showed a higher proportion of open arm entries and spent
significantly more time in the open arms of the maze. Thus, oxytocin exerts a central
anxiolytic-like effect on both endocrine and behavioral systems and could play a role in
moderating behavioral and physiological responses to stress.
When my office
lease expired at the end of 2004, I decided to turn it into a
"sabbatical" from my private practice. Many years ago, in my
grandfather's 89th year of life, he told me, "John, it is important
to smell the roses while you can still smell them." His life
gave living a very good reputation. It is also true that the
pursuit of that philosophy required my grandfather to to re-open his
assay office/ore market in Wickenburg, Arizona as a 75-year-old because
he had run a little short of retirement money. Thus, if blessed with his
luck and health, I'll be back.. --jjh