Male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) form a pair bond with a female partner after mating, and this behavior is regulated by the neuropeptide vasopressin (AVP). The authors report that AVP in the lateral septum is important for pair bond formation. Administration of an AVP V1a receptor antagonist in the lateral septum blocked mating-induced pair bonding, whereas administration of AVP induced this behavior in the absence of mating. In addition, administration of an oxytocin (OT) receptor antagonist in the lateral septum also blocked pair bond formation induced by either mating or AVP administration, suggesting that the OT receptor blockade may have interfered with the AVP regulation of behavior. Together, these data provide evidence suggesting that AVP in the lateral septum regulates pair bond formation in male prairie voles and that this process requires access to both AVP and OT receptors.
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