Ventral tegmental area involvement in pair bonding in male prairie voles

Tom Curtis, Zuoxin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dopamine is known to play a critical role in social attachment in monogamous voles. However, little is known about the neurochemical regulation of central dopamine release during pair bond formation. Here we examine the effects on partner preference formation in male prairie voles of neurochemical manipulations in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a major source of dopamine to brain regions implicated in pair bonding. Administration of NBQX, an AMPA receptor antagonist, or bicuculline, a GABA receptor antagonist, into the VTA induced partner preferences within 6 h in the absence of mating. We also found that, after unilateral administration of NBQX into the VTA, neuronal activation, as indicated by the expression of the immediate early gene c-fos, was decreased in the nucleus accumbens, prefrontal cortex, and medial amygdala, but was unchanged in the lateral septum and in a control region, the arcuate nucleus. These results confirm a role for the VTA in partner preference formation in monogamous voles and extend the list of neurochemicals important in pair bonding to include glutamate and GABA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-346
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2005

Fingerprint

Arvicolinae
Ventral Tegmental Area
Dopamine
Pair Bond
GABA Antagonists
Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus
Immediate-Early Genes
AMPA Receptors
Bicuculline
Nucleus Accumbens
Amygdala
Prefrontal Cortex
gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Glutamic Acid
Object Attachment
Grassland
Brain
2,3-dioxo-6-nitro-7-sulfamoylbenzo(f)quinoxaline

Keywords

  • Glutamate
  • Mating systems
  • Microtus
  • Monogamy
  • Reward

Cite this

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Ventral tegmental area involvement in pair bonding in male prairie voles. / Curtis, Tom; Wang, Zuoxin.

In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 86, No. 3, 15.10.2005, p. 338-346.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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