Septal vasopressin modulates anxiety-related behaviour in rats

Neurosci Lett. 1996 Oct 18;217(2-3):101-4.


Arginine vasopressin (AVP) or its V1 receptor antagonist d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)AVP was administered directly into the septal brain area of adult male rats by means of inverse microdialysis. Immediately after a 30-min dialysis period, during which either approximately 0.25 ng AVP or 5 ng of the V1 antagonist were delivered into the brain tissue, anxiety-related behaviour of the animals was measured on an elevated plus-maze apparatus. While synthetic AVP failed to alter plus-maze behaviour compared to vehicle-treated controls, animals treated with the V1 receptor antagonist made more entries into (P < 0.01) and spent more time on the open arms (P < 0.05), indicating reduced anxiety. Since administration of neither AVP nor the V1 antagonist significantly influenced general locomotor activity of the rats on the plus-maze and in an open field, these data point towards a critical involvement of intraseptally released AVP in the emotional evaluation of novel situations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidiuretic Hormone Receptor Antagonists
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Arginine Vasopressin / analogs & derivatives
  • Arginine Vasopressin / pharmacology
  • Arginine Vasopressin / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Exploratory Behavior / drug effects
  • Hormone Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Microdialysis
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • Antidiuretic Hormone Receptor Antagonists
  • Hormone Antagonists
  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • vasopressin, 1-(1-mercaptocyclohexaneacetic acid)-2-(O- methyl-L-tyrosine)-8-L-arginine-