Vasopressin in the lateral septum promotes elemental conditioning to the detriment of contextual fear conditioning in mice

Eur J Neurosci. 1999 Nov;11(11):3913-21. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9568.1999.00815.x.


Previous experiments using a classical fear conditioning paradigm have provided evidence that the processing of contextual conditional stimuli (CSs) by the hippocampus would be controlled by the amygdala through a modulation of hippocampal-lateral septal (H-LS) excitability. More specifically, our suggestion was that vasopressin release into the LS would occur in an elemental conditioning case [pairing CS-US (unconditional stimulus) procedure] and would result in less hippocampal-dependent contextual stimuli processing (i.e. overshadowing of CSs by the simple CS). Conversely, when an unpairing CS-US procedure is used, this would result in more contextual stimuli processing through a decrease in vasopressin release into the LS. The aim of the present experiment was to test this hypothesis using intraseptal injection of vasopressin or its V1/V2 antagonist. In agreement with this hypothesis, results suggest that vasopressin release into the LS would constitute a device by which priority is given to the more salient simple stimulus to the detriment of contextual information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Amygdala / physiology
  • Animals
  • Arginine Vasopressin / administration & dosage
  • Arginine Vasopressin / pharmacology*
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / drug effects
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology
  • Electroshock
  • Fear / drug effects
  • Fear / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Maze Learning / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microinjections
  • Models, Neurological
  • Models, Psychological
  • Septum Pellucidum / drug effects
  • Septum Pellucidum / physiology*


  • Arginine Vasopressin