UMMS Affiliation

Program in Behavioral Neuroscience

Publication Date


Document Type



Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors; Aggression; Animals; Arginine Vasopressin; Behavior, Animal; Clomipramine; Cricetinae; Desipramine; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Fluoxetine; Grooming; Hair; Hypothalamus; Male; Microinjections; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; Pigmentation; Serotonin Agonists; Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors


Neuroscience and Neurobiology


BACKGROUND: Alterations in arginine vasopressin regulation and secretion have been proposed as one possible biochemical abnormality in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. In golden hamsters, arginine vasopressin microinjections into the anterior hypothalamus trigger robust grooming and flank marking, a stereotyped scent marking behaviors. The intensity and repetition of the behaviors induced by arginine vasopressin is somewhat reminiscent of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in humans. The present experiments were carried out to test whether pharmacological agents used to alleviate obsessive compulsive disorder could inhibit arginine vasopressin-induced flank marking and grooming. RESULTS: Male golden hamsters were treated daily for two weeks with either vehicle, fluoxetine, clomipramine, or desipramine (an ineffective drug), before being tested for arginine vasopressin-induced flank marking and grooming. Flank marking was significantly inhibited in animals treated with fluoxetine or clomipramine but unaffected by treatment with desipramine. Grooming behavior was not affected by any treatment. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that arginine vasopressin-induced flank marking may serve as an animal model for screening drugs used in the control of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

DOI of Published Version



BMC Neurosci. 2001;2:10. Epub 2001 Aug 15.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC neuroscience

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID




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