Vasopressin in the septal area of the golden hamster controls scent marking and grooming

Robert W. Irvin, Patricia Szot, Daniel M. Dorsa, Michael Potegal, Craig F. Ferris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations


Microinjection of arginine vasopressin into the lateral septum and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of male hamsters stimulates intense flank marking and flank gland grooming, while microinjections of vasopressin in sites immediately adjacent to these areas or in the lateral ventricle are ineffective. Microinjections of oxytocin, angiotensin II and the behaviorally active C-terminal fragment of vasopressin, metabolite neuropeptide, by comparison, do not stimulate flank marking. Effective sites for vasopressin injection are clearly superimposable upon autoradiographically defined sites of high V1-receptor density. Furthermore, vasopressin-sensitive neurons in the lateral septum and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are necessary for the expression of naturally elicited flank marking since the microinjection of a V1-receptor antagonist into these sites was able to temporarily block flank marking triggered by odors from conspecifics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-699
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1990



  • Autoradiography
  • Flank marking
  • Oxytocin
  • Thermoregulation
  • V1-receptor
  • Vasopressin receptor antagonist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this