Increasing 3alpha,5alpha-THP following inhibition of neurosteroid biosynthesis in the ventral tegmental area reinstates anti-anxiety, social, and sexual behavior of naturally receptive rats

Reproduction : the Official Journal of the Society for the Study of Fertility
Cheryl A FryeMadeline E Rhodes

Abstract

The progesterone metabolite and neurosteroid, 5alpha-pregnan-3alpha-ol-20-one (3alpha,5alpha-THP), has actions in the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) to modulate lordosis, but its effects on other reproductively relevant behaviors are not well understood. Effects on exploration, anxiety, and social behavior resulting from inhibition of 3alpha,5alpha-THP formation, as well as 3alpha,5alpha-THP enhancement, were investigated in the midbrain VTA. Naturally sexually receptive, female rats (n=8-10/group) received infusions aimed at the midbrain VTA of vehicle, PK11195 (an inhibitor of neurosteroidogenesis), and/or indomethacin (an inhibitor of 3alpha,5alpha-THP formation from prohormones), and were subsequently infused with vehicle or FGIN 1-27 (a neurosteroidogenesis enhancer). The rats were then assessed in a behavioral battery that examined exploration (open field), anxiety (elevated plus maze), social (social interaction), and sexual (paced mating) behavior. Inhibition of 3alpha,5alpha-THP formation decreased exploratory, anti-anxiety, social, and sexual behavior, as well as midbrain 3alpha,5alpha-THP levels. Infusions of FGIN 1-27 following 3alpha,5alpha-THP inhibition restored these behaviors and midbrain 3alpha,5alpha-T...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Nervousness
Behavior, Animal
Neurosteroids
Osmosin
Curiosity
Auxins
Enhanced S-Cone Syndrome
Progesterone
Entire Midbrain
Sexual Behavior, Animal

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