Distribution of nonapeptide receptors in the forebrain and midbrain of the spiny mouse (Acomys cahirinus) Open Access

Powell, Jeanne (Summer 2021)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/bk128c08r?locale=en


The nonapeptides oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) play key roles in modulating social behaviors across taxa via the activation of the OT receptor (OTR) and AVP V1a receptor (V1aR). Differences in the distributions and densities of these receptors have been linked to differences in social phenotype both within and across species. However, much of what we know about these systems have been learned using rodent models that do not generally display prosocial behaviors outside of reproductive contexts. The gregarious and communally breeding spiny mouse (Acomys cahirinus) presents a unique opportunity to explore nonapeptide-mediated social behavior because they exhibit high degrees of prosociality in both reproductive and non-reproductive contexts. Here, we provide a basic characterization of neuronal OTR and V1aR binding in spiny mice using receptor binding autoradiography. Across sexes, we observed the highest density of OTR binding in the ventral pallidum (VP), as well as a moderate amount of OTR binding within the subiculum, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), and amygdalar nuclei. Robust V1aR binding was observed throughout the brain, with moderate to high binding observed in many olfactory, striatal, amygdalar, thalamic, hypothalamic and midbrain nuclei, as well as the lateral septum, BNST, and VP. This characterization lays a basic foundation for future studies that seek to examine the relationship between nonapeptide receptor density and phenotypic differences in behavior and identifies target regions for causal manipulation to determine direct contributions of nonapeptide circuitry to social behavior in spiny mice. 

Table of Contents

Page 1. Introduction

Page 4. Methods

Page 4. Animals

Page 4. Tissue Preparation

Page 4. Receptor autoradiography   

Page 8. Results

Page 8. OTR binding

Page 9. V1aR binding

Page 11. Discussion

Page 11. OTR binding in the spiny mouse

Page 14. V1aR binding in the spiny mouse

Page 17. Limitations

Page 18. Conclusion

Page 19. References

Page 28. Figures

Page 28. Figure 

Page 29. Figure

Page 30. Figure 

Page 31. Tables

Page 31. Table 1

Page 33. Table 2

Page 35. Table 3

Page 37. Table 4

Page 39. Appendix 1

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