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Effects of chronic intranasal oxytocin on behavior and cerebral glucose uptake in juvenile titi monkeys.

  • Author(s): Arias Del Razo, Rocío
  • Berger, Trish
  • Conley, Alan J
  • Freeman, Sara M
  • Goetze, Leana R
  • Jacob, Suma
  • Lawrence, Rebecca H
  • Mendoza, Sally P
  • Rothwell, Emily S
  • Savidge, Logan E
  • Solomon, Marjorie
  • Weinstein, Tamara AR
  • Witczak, Lynea R
  • Bales, Karen L
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306453019303269?via%3Dihub
No data is associated with this publication.
Abstract

Intranasal oxytocin (IN OXT) has been proposed as a treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, little is known about the effects of long-term exposure. This is the first study in a non-human primate species to examine how developmental exposure to chronic IN OXT affects juvenile's interactions with family members, social preference for parents versus strangers, anxiety-like behavior, and cerebral glucose metabolism. Titi monkeys are socially monogamous and biparental; their family bonds share important characteristics with human family bonds. Fourteen males and 15 females were treated intranasally with saline (n = 14) or 0.8 IU/kg OXT (n = 15), daily from 12 to 18 months of age. Compared to SAL-treated animals, OXT-treated animals of both sexes spent significantly more time grooming other family members (F1 = 8.97, p = 0.006). Overall, OXT-treated subjects were more social (F1 = 8.35, p = 0.005) during preference tests. OXT-treated females displayed an enhanced preference for their parents (t = 2.265, p = 0.026). OXT-treated males had a blunted preference for their parents and an increase in the time spent near unfamiliar pairs (F1 = 10.89, p = 0.001). During anxiety tests, OXT-treated males refused to complete the task more often than SAL-treated males and had longer latencies (p < 0.0001). Neuroimaging studies revealed that OXT-treated animals had higher glucose uptake across the social salience network as a whole after one month of treatment (F1,9 = 1.07, p = 0.042). Our results suggest moderate prosocial effects of chronic IN OXT, that did not depend on anxiolytic properties. We also found important sex differences that should be considered in a translational context.

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