UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Date

12-16-2005

Document Type

Article

Subjects

Animals; Animals, Suckling; Brain Mapping; Emotions; Female; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Maternal Behavior; *Object Attachment; Oxytocin; Rats; Rats, Sprague-Dawley; Receptors, Oxytocin; Reward

Disciplines

Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences

Abstract

Oxytocin is released in the maternal brain during breastfeeding and may help strengthen the mother-infant relationship. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine whether oxytocin modulates brain activity in postpartum day 4-8 dams receiving suckling stimulation. During imaging sessions, dams were exposed to pup suckling before and after administration of an oxytocin receptor antagonist. Another group of dams received oxytocin alone. Changes in brain activation in response to suckling closely matched that elicited by oxytocin administration. The overlapping brain areas included the olfactory system, nucleus accumbens, insular cortex, prefrontal cortex, ventral tegmental area, cortical amygdala, and several cortical and hypothalamic nuclei. Blockade of oxytocin receptors largely attenuated activation in these regions. The data suggest that oxytocin may strengthen mother-infant bond formation partly by acting through brain areas involved in regulating olfactory discrimination, emotions, and reward.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: J Neurosci. 2005 Dec 14;25(50):11637-44. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version

10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3604-05.2005

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal Title

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

PubMed ID

16354922

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.