Document Detail

Electrophysiology of oxytocin actions on central neurons.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1320838     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The action of oxytocin on neurons located in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve was studied in brain slices in vitro. It acted postsynaptically and caused a reversible, concentration-dependent excitation of vagal motoneurons in rats. This effect is specific, since it could be mimicked by a selective agonist and suppressed by an oxytocin antagonist. Single-electrode voltage-clamp recordings from rat vagal motoneurons indicated that oxytocin generates a noninactivating inward current, whose amplitude increased as the membrane was depolarized. This current was insensitive to TTX, to a reduction of membrane calcium currents, and to a reversal in the transmembrane chloride gradient; and it was unaffected by several potassium channel blockers. By contrast, it was reversibly reduced by partially substituting extracellular sodium with equimolar N-methyl-D-glucamine. These results suggest that oxytocin exerts its neuronal action in the rat brainstem by generating a sustained voltage-dependent sodium current. Vasopressin activates a similar current when acting on motoneurons located in the facial nucleus of newborn rats. These fast, neurotransmitter-like actions of oxytocin and of vasopressin may provide an explanation--though not necessarily the sole explanation--for their central effects on maternal, sexual, and social behaviors.
J J Dreifuss; M Dubois-Dauphin; H Widmer; M Raggenbass
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences     Volume:  652     ISSN:  0077-8923     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.     Publication Date:  1992 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-08-10     Completed Date:  1992-08-10     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7506858     Medline TA:  Ann N Y Acad Sci     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  46-57     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Physiology, University Medical Center, Geneva, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
Oxytocin / physiology*
Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
Vagus Nerve / physiology*
Vasopressins / physiology*
Reg. No./Substance:
11000-17-2/Vasopressins; 50-56-6/Oxytocin

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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