Accession Number:

ADA555016

Title:

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

Descriptive Note:

Annual rept. 1 Mar 2009-31 Aug 2010

Corporate Author:

DELAWARE UNIV NEWARK

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

23.0

Abstract:

The purpose of the grant is to test whether exogenous oxytocin acts as an antianxiety agent and whether social support facilitates its antianxiety effects in a fear-potentiated startle paradigm. Oxytocin given systemically 0.1 microgramskg, sc effectively reduced background anxiety, but not specific cue-potentiated fear. This was found when oxytocin was given either before fear conditioning acquisition, immediately after fear conditioning consolidation, or before retrievalexpression of conditioned fear-potentiated startle. Social isolation for 3 weeks potentiated startle this was reversed by oxytocin. Intracerebroventricular infusion of oxytocin only reduced background anxiety with a very large dose 20 micrograms, suggesting indirect action in brain. It is concluded that oxytocin has unique antianxiety properties that reduce background and social-isolation anxiety -- anxiety states not directly related to cue-specific fear, but are sustained beyond the immediate threat. Oxytocin might be promising as a drug with novel benefits for patients with PTSD.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Pharmacology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE