Oxytocin mediates the antidepressant effects of mating behavior in male mice

Hiroaki Matsushita, Kazuhito Tomizawa, Naoki Okimoto, Tei-ichi Nishiki, Iori Ohmori, Hideki Matsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


A significant association between plasma oxytocin (OT) levels and depression has been demonstrated. A recent study found that sexual activity and mating with a female induced the release of OT in the central nervous system of male rats. Here we examined the effect of mating behavior on depression-related behavior in wild-type (WT) and OT receptor-deficient (OTR KO) male mice. The WT males showed a reduction in depression-related behavior after mating behavior, but the OTR KO mice did not. Application of an OTR antagonist inhibited mating behavior-induced antidepressant effect in WT males. OT may mediate the antidepressant effects of mating behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-153
Number of pages3
JournalNeuroscience Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mating behavior
  • Oxytocin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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