Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Score one for nature

...i.e. versus nurture.

This just in from Cell Press, publisher of the research journal Neuron:

The V1a Vasopressin Receptor Is Necessary and Sufficient for Normal Social Recognition: A Gene Replacement Study

Isadora F. Bielsky, Shuang-Bao Hu, Xianghui Ren, Ernest F. Terwilliger, and Larry J. Young

Vasopressin has long been associated with the regulation of social behaviors and anxiety, yet precisely how and where vasopressin exerts its behavioral effect has remained uncertain. Here, Bielsky et al. use site-specific viral vector injections in concert with knockout mice to re-express the missing gene with a resulting change in complex behavior. The results show that V1aR expression in a single brain area is sufficient to rescue the abnormal social phenotype in V1aRKO mice. Vasopressin and its receptors have been implicated as novel potential targets for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, including autism with its hallmark social disturbances, and affective disorders such as anxiety disorders. The context and implications of this work are discussed in a Minireview by Storm and Tecott.

Neuron, Volume 47, Issue 4 August 18, 2005