Differential modulation of lateral septal vasopressin receptor blockade in spatial learning, social recognition, and anxiety-related behaviors in rats

Behav Brain Res. 1999 Feb 15;99(1):7-16. doi: 10.1016/s0166-4328(98)00004-7.


The role of lateral septal vasopressin (VP) in the modulation of spatial memory, social memory, and anxiety-related behavior was studied in adult, male Wistar rats. Animals were equipped with osmotic minipumps delivering the VP-antagonist d(CH2)5-D-Tyr(Et)VAVP (1 ng/0.5 microl per h) bilaterally into the lateral septum (LS). Subsequently, all rats were subjected to four behavioral tests. First, animals were tested in a spatial learning paradigm (Morris water maze; 12 trials), followed by the social recognition test. A possible role for VP in anxiety-related behavior was then studied in the shock-probe burying test and the elevated plus-maze, respectively. The results showed that VP receptor antagonism impaired social recognition and reduced open-arm activity in the plus-maze, while it had no effect on spatial learning (Morris maze) and shock-probe burying behavior. The results indicate a strong task-dependent specificity of lateral septal VP functioning.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidiuretic Hormone Receptor Antagonists*
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Arginine Vasopressin / administration & dosage
  • Arginine Vasopressin / analogs & derivatives
  • Arginine Vasopressin / pharmacology
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Electroshock
  • Hormone Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Hormone Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Infusion Pumps
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects*
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Septal Nuclei / anatomy & histology
  • Septal Nuclei / drug effects
  • Septal Nuclei / physiology*
  • Social Behavior*


  • Antidiuretic Hormone Receptor Antagonists
  • Hormone Antagonists
  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • 1-(beta-mercapto-beta,beta-cyclopentamethylenepropionic acid)-2-(O-ethyl-Tyr)-4-Val-arginine vasopressin