Presentation Title

Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and Interest in Infants in Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)

Advisor Information

Jeffrey French

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 107

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

7-3-2014 9:45 AM

End Date

7-3-2014 10:00 AM

Abstract

Among mammals, parental care is required for the survival of offspring, but in the majority of species, this task is carried out solely by the female. However, some rodent and primate species (including humans) have evolved reproductive strategies that make use of paternal and alloparental care. The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin have been implicated in enhancing the care of young in these and other species, though often in sexually dimorphic ways. Marmosets are a cooperatively breeding non-human primate, and have been used as a model for social bonding. They exhibit high rates of paternal and alloparental care, they respond physiologically and behaviorally to infant stimuli, and they possess a novel gene for oxytocin. The purpose of the current experiment was to examine the roles of oxytocin and vasopressin in the facilitation of parental response to unrelated infants. Nulliparous marmosets were treated with oxytocin, vasopressin, or receptor antagonists, and then exposed to infant and control stimuli. If oxytocin and vasopressin increase parental behavior in marmosets, then individuals treated with either oxytocin or vasopressin will exhibit increased interest in the infant stimuli compared to saline treatment. Furthermore, marmosets treated with receptor antagonists will exhibit decreased interest in the infant stimuli. Also, if vasopressin affects parental behavior in a sex-specific way, then vasopressin agonist or antagonist treatment should have a greater effect on male marmosets than female marmosets.

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Mar 7th, 9:45 AM Mar 7th, 10:00 AM

Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and Interest in Infants in Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)

UNO Criss Library, Room 107

Among mammals, parental care is required for the survival of offspring, but in the majority of species, this task is carried out solely by the female. However, some rodent and primate species (including humans) have evolved reproductive strategies that make use of paternal and alloparental care. The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin have been implicated in enhancing the care of young in these and other species, though often in sexually dimorphic ways. Marmosets are a cooperatively breeding non-human primate, and have been used as a model for social bonding. They exhibit high rates of paternal and alloparental care, they respond physiologically and behaviorally to infant stimuli, and they possess a novel gene for oxytocin. The purpose of the current experiment was to examine the roles of oxytocin and vasopressin in the facilitation of parental response to unrelated infants. Nulliparous marmosets were treated with oxytocin, vasopressin, or receptor antagonists, and then exposed to infant and control stimuli. If oxytocin and vasopressin increase parental behavior in marmosets, then individuals treated with either oxytocin or vasopressin will exhibit increased interest in the infant stimuli compared to saline treatment. Furthermore, marmosets treated with receptor antagonists will exhibit decreased interest in the infant stimuli. Also, if vasopressin affects parental behavior in a sex-specific way, then vasopressin agonist or antagonist treatment should have a greater effect on male marmosets than female marmosets.