Systemic effects of oxytocin on male sexual activity via the spinal ejaculation generator in rats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and stimulates uterine contraction and milk ejection. While many people consider oxytocin to be a female hormone, it is reported that, in men, the plasma oxytocin level increases markedly after ejaculation. However, this aspect of oxytocin physiology is poorly understood. The spinal ejaculation generator (SEG), which expresses the neuropeptide, gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), can trigger ejaculation in rats. Therefore, we focused on systemic effects of oxytocin on the GRP/SEG neuron system in the lumbar spinal cord controlling sexual activity in male rats. We found that systemic administration of oxytocin significantly shortened the latency to the first mount, intromission and ejaculation during male copulatory behavior. In addition, the local oxytocin level in the lumbar cord was significantly higher in males than in females. Histological analysis showed that oxytocin-binding is apparent in spinal GRP/SEG neurons. We therefore conclude that oxytocin influences male sexual activity via the SEG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalCommunicative and Integrative Biology
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Spinal cord
  • gastrin-releasing peptide
  • hypothalamus
  • male sexual activity
  • oxytocin
  • rat
  • spinal ejaculation generator
  • systemic treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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