Intraamygdaloid Oxytocin Reduces Anxiety in the Valproate-Induced Autism Rat Model

László, Kristóf and Kiss, Orsolya and Vörös, Dávid and Mintál, Kitti and Ollmann, Tamás and Péczely, László and Kovács, Anita and Zagorácz, Olga and Kertes, Erika and Kállai, Veronika and Csetényi, Bettina Réka and Hormay, Edina and Marosné Berta, Beáta and Tóth, Attila and Karádi, Zoltán György and Lénárd, László (2022) Intraamygdaloid Oxytocin Reduces Anxiety in the Valproate-Induced Autism Rat Model. BIOMEDICINES, 10 (2). ISSN 2227-9059

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Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder affecting about 1.5% of children, and its prevalence is increasing. Anxiety is one of the most common comorbid signs of ASD. Despite the increasing prevalence, the pathophysiology of ASD is still poorly understood, and its proper treatment has not been defined yet. In order to develop new therapeutic approaches, the valproate- (VPA) induced rodent model of autism can be an appropriate tool. Oxytocin (OT), as a prosocial hormone, may ameliorate some symptoms of ASD. Methods: In the present study, we investigated the possible anxiolytic effect of intraamygdaloid OT on VPA-treated rats using the elevated plus maze test. Results: Our results show that male Wistar rats prenatally exposed to VPA spent significantly less time in the open arms of the elevated plus maze apparatus and performed significantly less head dips from the open arms. Bilateral OT microinjection into the central nucleus of the amygdala increased the time spent in the open arms and the number of head dips and reduced the anxiety to the healthy control level. An OT receptor antagonist blocked the anxiolytic effects of OT. The antagonist by itself did not influence the time rats spent in the open arms. Conclusions: Our results show that intraamygdaloid OT has anxiolytic effects in autistic rats.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Medical School, Institute of Physiology, University of Pécs, Pécs, 7624, Hungary Neuroscience Center, University of Pécs, Pécs, 7624, Hungary Szentágothai Center, Molecular Endocrinology and Neurophysiology Research Group, University of Pécs, Pécs, 7624, Hungary Export Date: 21 February 2022 Correspondence Address: László, K.; Medical School, Hungary; email:
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QP Physiology / élettan
R Medicine / orvostudomány > RC Internal medicine / belgyógyászat > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry / idegkórtan, neurológia, pszichiátria
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2022 10:58
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2022 10:59

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