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charge a few neurons
Oxytocin, anyone?
Hey guys, I'm a second year undergrad behavioural neuroscientist. I'm doing a subject which is basically like a mini honours project (I don't know if they call it honours in other countries... the fourth year where you do a research project anyway). I'm researching the effects of an oxytocin agonist (I think it's called carbotocin or something) on the anxiety behavioural tests (the elevated plus maze and the open feild test) in male rats. My specific 'mini' part of the project is to compare injecting the agonist via IP to injecting it directly into the ventricles using a cannula.

This is somebody's honours project, and they started off with using the cannulas, because the oxytocin agonist is a peptide, and should not be able to cross the blood brain barrier, so IP would not work. But on the other hand, I'm working on my lit review for it, and I've read heaps about the agonists being injected IP, and the experiment worked, they got significant results. So that's why I am going to try the same experiment as the honours student, except inject IP, and compare them to her results. But what I can't seem to find is an explanation for it (I guess that's why we're doing the experiment!). Anyone know anything about it? References or something? If anyone knows some good info/references about oxytocin and anxiety, that would be a bonus too.

I'm also thinking maybe oxytocin might stimulate a second (or third, or fourth, or a whole cascade!) messanger system, and it might be this that has the anxiolytic effect. I guess have to keep reading about that.

Thanks :)
6 Experiments | Propose your hypothesis
soleklypse From: soleklypse Date: August 17th, 2006 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Better than Heroin

What they really mean when they say that something doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier is that it doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier very well. Morphine also doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier very well, but if you take enough of it, you bet it'll get across. I don't know what the lipid solubility is of oxytocin or how it compares to morphine, but it might just be a matter of using the proper dosage.
nervous_neuron From: nervous_neuron Date: August 17th, 2006 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Better than Heroin

Thanks heaps, that would explain it! For some reason, I assumed the blood brain barrier was perfect. And that would explain why we are giving reletivly high doses IP compared to the ICV. And yeah, we're trying three different doses.
soleklypse From: soleklypse Date: August 17th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

for some reason

Well, you were taking them at their word. That's not so strange. But there's a lesson for ya: be skeptical of everything! :) Best of luck!
jmae From: jmae Date: August 17th, 2006 12:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
On an unrelated note, I ♥ your icon. Where did you get it? I'm sorely lacking a good science icon for LJ.
nervous_neuron From: nervous_neuron Date: August 17th, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

I made it. I googled 'neuron' for the picture, and then just edited the 'impulse' in using a gif animator, and added text. Go ahead and use it if you like, or if you wanna edit something, like put different text, change the course of the impulse, whatever, I can do that too :)
jmae From: jmae Date: August 18th, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
w00t :D

What kind of gif animator did you use then? I was never good at those...
6 Experiments | Propose your hypothesis