A Role for Oxytocin-Like Receptor in Social Habituation in a Teleost

Chelsea A. Weitekamp, Tessa K. Solomon-Lane, Pamela Del Valle, Zegni Triki, Bridget M. Nugent, Hans A. Hofmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Oxytocin (OT) mediates social habituation in rodent model systems, but its role in mediating this effect in other vertebrates is unknown. We used males of the African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, to investigate two aspects of isotocin (IT; an OT homolog) signaling in social habituation. First, we examined the expression of IT receptor 2 (ITR2) as well as two immediate early genes in brain regions implicated in social recognition. Next, we examined IT neuron activity using immunohistochemistry. Patterns of gene expression in homologs of the amygdala and hippocampus implicate IT signaling in these regions in social habituation to a territorial neighbor. In the preoptic area, the expression of the ITR2 subtype and IT neuron activity respond to the presence of a male, independent of familiarity. Our results implicate IT in mediating social habituation in a teleost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalBrain, Behavior and Evolution
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene expression
  • Hippocampus
  • Immediate early genes
  • Preoptic area
  • Social bonding
  • Social habituation
  • Teleost


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