Master of Science
Dr. Martin Kavaliers, Dr. Christine M. Tenk, and Dr. Klaus-Peter Ossenkopp
The nonapeptide, oxytocin (OT), is implicated in a range of behavioural and physiological functions. However, OT's role in sickness behaviours remains unclear. This thesis examined effects of the OT agonist, carbetocin (CBT), and OT antagonist, L-368,899, on anxiety and locomotor sickness-related behaviours and pro-inflammatory cytokines, TNF-a and IL-6, in adult male CD-1 mice. Animals received 2 intraperitoneal treatment injections. The first treatment was carbetocin, L-368,899, or saline, while the second was lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or saline. Behaviours were evaluated via the light-dark test, and cytokines via immunoassay. OT antagonist treatment attenuated LPS induced perturbations in locomotor and anxiety-like behaviour, but produced no significant effects on cytokines. The 10 mg/kg CBT-saline treatment suppressed locomotion and augmented anxiogenic behaviour, while OT antagonist treatment enhanced locomotor behaviour, and decreased anxiety-like behaviour. The present findings suggest that OT antagonist treatment has anxiolytic effects on basal anxiety-like behaviours, and attenuates the expression of sickness behaviour.
Deleemans, Julie, "Oxytocin’s Effects on Sickness Behaviours, Anxiety Responses, and Immune Function in Adult Male Mice" (2016). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 4198.