TitleNeuroendocrinology of context-dependent stress responses: vasotocin alters the effect of corticosterone on amphibian behaviors
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsCoddington, E, Moore, FL
JournalHormones and Behavior
Type of ArticleJournal Article

The ability of an animal to respond with appropriate defensive behaviors when confronted with an immediate threat can affect its survival and reproductive success. In the roughskin newt (Taricha granulosa), exogenous corticosterone (CORT) rapidly blocks and vasotocin (VT) enhances reproductive behaviors (mainly clasping behavior). Electrophysiological studies have shown that pretreatment of male Taricha with VT counteracts the inhibitory effects of CORT on neuronal activity in the medulla. To test whether similar interactions between VT and CORT influence reproductive behaviors in Taricha, we recorded the time spent and incidence of clasping in males injected with VT or vehicle at 60 min and then CORT or vehicle at 5 min before presentation of a female. This study found that clasping behavior is suppressed in males that received vehicle and then CORT, but is not suppressed in males that received VT and then CORT. Considering these results and the possibility that the performance of clasping behaviors might cause increases in endogenous VT activity, we tested whether the suppressive effects of CORT administration on clasping behavior would occur in males that had recently clasped females. The study found that, in contrast to males that had been isolated from females, CORT administration did not suppress clasping behavior in males that had been allowed to clasp females for 60 min prior to the hormone injection. Our results suggest that, at least in this amphibian and perhaps in other animals, the neuroendocrine regulation of alternative behavioral responses to threats involves functional interactions between corticosteroids and VT-like peptides. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000182658400027