Dopamine D2 receptor-mediated regulation of partner preferences in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster): a mechanism for pair bonding?
by
Wang Z, Yu G, Cascio C, Liu Y, Gingrich B, Insel TR
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
and Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Emory University, USA.
zwang@psy.fsu.edu
Behav Neurosci 1999 Jun; 113(3):602-11


ABSTRACT

This study examined the role of dopamine (DA) in partner preference (PP) formation in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). The nonspecific DA antagonist haloperidol blocked mating-induced PP, whereas the nonspecific DA agonist apomorphine induced PP without mating. The D2 antagonist eticlopride, but not the D1 antagonist SCH23390, blocked PP, whereas the D2 agonist quinpirole, but not the D1 agonist SKF38393, induced PP without mating. Injections of eticlopride before or immediately after mating, but not 24 hr after mating, impaired PP, indicating that DA's effects were not due to an interference with mating or sensory recognition. Finally, intracerebroventricular injections of eticlopride diminished PP. Together, these data suggest that mating-induced PP requires activation of D2 receptors and that social experience may activate dopaminergic pathways, with enduring effects on behavior.
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