john herr psychologist los gatos saratoga california

On Sabbatical

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TITLE: Central oxytocin administration reduces stress-induced corticosterone release and anxiety behavior in rats.
AUTHOR: Windle RJ; Shanks N; Lightman SL; Ingram CD
AUTHOR AFFILIATION: Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, United Kingdom.
SOURCE: Endocrinology 1997 Jul;138(7):2829-34
NLM CIT. ID: 97345732
ABSTRACT: 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.
Behavior, Animal/*DRUG EFFECTS
Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
REGISTRY NUMBERS: 0 (Vasopressins)
50-22-6 (Corticosterone)
50-28-2 (Estradiol)
50-56-6 (Oxytocin)

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On Sabbatical!

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

Copyright 1998-2007  John J. Herr, Ph.D.                                   Please send comments to