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Neuropeptide Regulation of Social Attachment

Title: Neuropeptide Regulation of Social Attachment: The Prairie Vole Model.
Name(s): Tabbaa, Manal, author
Paedae, Brennan, author
Liu, Yan, author
Wang, Zuoxin, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Journal Article
Date Issued: 2016-12-06
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Social attachments are ubiquitous among humans and integral to human health. Although great efforts have been made to elucidate the neural underpinnings regulating social attachments, we still know relatively little about the neuronal and neurochemical regulation of social attachments. As a laboratory animal research model, the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) displays behaviors paralleling human social attachments and thus has provided unique insights into the neural regulation of social behaviors. Research in prairie voles has particularly highlighted the significance of neuropeptidergic regulation of social behaviors, especially of the roles of oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP). This article aims to review these findings. We begin by discussing the role of the OT and AVP systems in regulating social behaviors relevant to social attachments, and thereafter restrict our discussion to studies in prairie voles. Specifically, we discuss the role of OT and AVP in adult mate attachments, biparental care, social isolation, and social buffering as informed by studies utilizing the prairie vole model. Not only do these studies offer insight into social attachments in humans, but they also point to dysregulated mechanisms in several mental disorders. We conclude by discussing these implications for human health. © 2017 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 7:81-104, 2017.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_28135000 (IID), 10.1002/cphy.c150055 (DOI), PMC5308882 (PMCID), 28135000 (RID), 28135000 (EID)
Grant Number: R01 MH058616, R01 MH089852, T32 MH093311
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Subject(s): Animals
Behavior, Animal
Social Behavior
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Comprehensive Physiology.
Issue: iss. 1, vol. 7

Choose the citation style.
Tabbaa, M., Paedae, B., Liu, Y., & Wang, Z. (2016). Neuropeptide Regulation of Social Attachment: The Prairie Vole Model. Comprehensive Physiology. Retrieved from