Evaluating the Effects of Subchronic Oxytocin Administration on Social Behaviors in Juvenile Mice

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Berry, Kaitlyn
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
Previous research has demonstrated the importance of social interactions in typical development and growth. Recent research demonstrates oxytocin’s role in prosocial behaviors, and oxytocin has been proposed as a pharmacological treatment for certain social deficits. The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of sub-chronic oxytocin administration on social behaviors in male and female, juvenile mice. Mice underwent housing and drug manipulations to test the effects of sub-chronic oxytocin administration, isolation housing, and sex on social behaviors evaluated using a three chamber assay developed for determining sociability and the preference for social novelty. Results indicate sub-chronic oxytocin administration induces sex-specific changes in social behavior with an interaction between housing condition, drug treatment, and sex. These results suggest that there is a complex relationship existing between these variables that should be considered further in the prescription and use of oxytocin to treat social symptoms in clinical populations.
Behavioral and Health Sciences, oxytocin, mice social, juvenile, three chamber