Paraventricular nucleus lesion prevents yawning and penile erection induced by apomorphine and oxytocin but not by ACTH in rats

Brain Res. 1987 Sep 22;421(1-2):349-52. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(87)91305-9.


The effect of electrolytic lesion of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) on yawning and penile erection induced by apomorphine, oxytocin and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH1-24) was studied in male rats. In sham-operated rats, apomorphine (50 micrograms/kg s.c.), oxytocin (30 ng i.c.v.), and ACTH1-24 (10 micrograms i.c.v.) significantly increased the number of yawning and penile erection episodes. In PVN-lesioned rats, apomorphine- and oxytocin-, but not ACTH-induced responses were strongly reduced. These results confirm our previous observations showing that the PVN has a crucial role in the expression of yawning and penile erection induced by dopamino-mimetic drugs and oxytocin, and suggest that ACTH-derived peptides induce the above responses by a mechanism not involving PVN hypothalamic dopamine or oxytocin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / administration & dosage
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Apomorphine / pharmacology*
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Male
  • Oxytocin / administration & dosage
  • Oxytocin / pharmacology*
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / physiology*
  • Penile Erection / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Yawning / drug effects*


  • Oxytocin
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Apomorphine