The effects of infusion of arginine vasopressin, oxytocin, or their antagonists into the olfactory bulb upon social recognition responses in male rats

Peptides. 1998;19(6):999-1005. doi: 10.1016/s0196-9781(98)00047-3.


In the present report, the peptides arginine vasopressin (AVP), oxytocin (OXT) or their respective antagonists were infused bilaterally into the olfactory bulb to assess their effects upon recognition responses. Recognition responses were determined in a social discrimination paradigm and consisted of measuring the amount of investigation directed to either the same (previously exposed) or novel juvenile rats under conditions in which clear recognition responses are either present as tested with a 30 min inter-exposure interval or absent as tested with a 120 min inter-exposure interval. Infusion of AVP or OXT resulted in preserved recognition responses, as tested with a 120 min inter-exposure interval, compared with that observed in vehicle-infused controls. When animals were infused with the AVP or OXT antagonists using two different doses and tested for the display of recognition as tested with the 30 min inter-exposure interval, no effects of these antagonists were obtained with either dose. These results demonstrate that the olfactory bulb represents an additional important central nervous system target site where these peptides can act to preserve social recognition responses. Moreover, our results suggest that the underlying mechanisms by which peptides function within the olfactory bulb differ as a function of whether they are involved with the display versus preservation of recognition responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Arginine Vasopressin / pharmacology*
  • Discrimination Learning / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Olfactory Bulb / drug effects*
  • Oxytocin / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Social Behavior*


  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Oxytocin