Oxytocin improves long-lasting spatial memory during motherhood through MAP kinase cascade

Kazuhito Tomizawa, Norichika Iga, Yun Fei Lu, Akiyoshi Moriwaki, Masayuki Matsushita, Sheng Tian Li, Osamu Miyamoto, Toshifumi Itano, Hideki Matsui

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Abstract

Oxytocin is an essential hormone for mammalian labor and lactation. Here, we show a new function of oxytocin in causing plastic changes in hippocampal synapses during motherhood. In oxytocin-perfused hippocampal slices, one-train tetanus stimulation induced long-lasting, long-term potentiation (L-LTP) and phosphorylation of cyclic AMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB), and MAP kinase inhibitors blocked these inductions. An increase in CREB phosphorylation and L-LTP induced by one-train tetanus were observed in the multiparous mouse hippocampus without oxytocin application. Furthermore, intracerebroventricular injection of oxytocin in virgin mice improved long-term spatial learning in vivo, whereas an injection of oxytocin antagonist in multiparous mice significantly inhibited the improved spatial memory, L-LTP and CREB phosphorylation. These findings indicate that oxytocin is critically involved in improving hippocampus-dependent learning and memory during motherhood in mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-390
Number of pages7
JournalNature Neuroscience
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2003

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Tomizawa, K., Iga, N., Lu, Y. F., Moriwaki, A., Matsushita, M., Li, S. T., Miyamoto, O., Itano, T., & Matsui, H. (2003). Oxytocin improves long-lasting spatial memory during motherhood through MAP kinase cascade. Nature Neuroscience, 6(4), 384-390. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1023