Nervous (nervous_neuron) wrote in neuroscience,

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 :)
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