Accession Number : ADA554060


Title :   Oxytocin and Social Support as Synergistic Inhibitors of Aversive Fear Conditioning and Fear-Potentiated Startle in Male Rats


Descriptive Note : Final rept. 1 Mar 2008-30 Apr 2011


Corporate Author : DELAWARE UNIV NEWARK


Personal Author(s) : Rosen, Jeff


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a554060.pdf


Report Date : May 2011


Pagination or Media Count : 60


Abstract : We found exogenous oxytocin acts as an antianxiety agent in a fear-potentiated startle paradigm. Oxytocin given systemically (0.1 micrograms/kg, sc) effectively reduced background anxiety, but not specific cue-potentiated fear, when given before fear conditioning (acquisition), immediately after fear conditioning (consolidation), or before retrieval/expression of conditioned fear-potentiated startle. In contrast, oxytocin infused into the lateral ventricle only reduced background anxiety with a very large dose (20 micrograms). We conclude that oxytocin uniquely reduces background anxiety -- an anxiety state not directly related to cue-specific fear, but sustained beyond the immediate threat. The findings also indicate that oxytocin acts as an antianxiety agent peripherally to then affect brain through indirect mechanisms. Promising initial data with a paradigm of potentiated startle after 3 weeks of social isolation have been difficult to replicate. We suggest oxytocin is promising as a drug with novel benefits for patients with PTSD.


Descriptors :   *ANXIETY , *PITUITARY HORMONES , DRUGS , FEAR , POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER , RATS


Subject Categories : Psychology
      Pharmacology


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE