Oxytocin stimulates adult neurogenesis even under conditions of stress and elevated glucocorticoids

Benedetta Leuner, Julia M. Caponiti, Elizabeth Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

130 Scopus citations

Abstract

Oxytocin has been linked to social behavior, including social recognition, pair bonding and parenting, but its potential role in promoting neuronal growth has not been investigated. We show here that oxytocin, but not vasopressin, stimulates both cell proliferation and adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus of rats. Oxytocin is also capable of stimulating adult neurogenesis in rats subjected to glucocorticoid administration or cold water swim stress. These findings suggest that oxytocin stimulates neuronal growth and may protect against the suppressive effects of stress hormones on hippocampal plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-868
Number of pages8
JournalHippocampus
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Keywords

  • Cell proliferation
  • Hippocampus
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis
  • Plasticity
  • Vasopressin

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