Involvement of arginine vasotocin in reproductive events in the male newt Cynops pyrrhogaster

F. Toyoda*, K. Yamamoto, Y. Ito, S. Tanaka, M. Yamashita, S. Kikuyama

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    Effects of arginine vasotocin (AVT) on reproductive events such as courtship behavior, pheromone release, and spermatophore discharge were investigated in the male newt Cynops pyrrhogaster. AVT enhanced the incidence and frequency of androgen-induced courtship behavior. In this case, AVT was likely to act centrally because the behavior was evoked with a much smaller amount of AVT when the hormone was administered intracerebroventricularly than when given intraperitoneally. Involvement of endogenous AVT in spontaneously occurring courtship behavior was also evidenced by the fact that administration of a V1 (vasopressor) receptor antagonist, [d(CH2)5 1, Tyr(Me)2, Arg8-vasopressin] suppressed the expression of the courtship behavior. The water in which AVT-treated males had been kept showed considerable female-attracting activity as compared with the water in which saline-injected males had been kept. Moreover, the content of sodefrin, a female-attracting pheromone in the abdominal gland, was decreased by the intraperitoneal injection of AVT, suggesting that the neurohypophyseal hormone stimulated the release of sodefrin from the abdominal gland into the water. AVT induced contraction of the excised abdominal gland concentration-dependently, and, again, the V1 receptor antagonist suppressed the AVT-induced contraction. Thus, we concluded that AVT induces the pheromone discharge, acting peripherally on a contractile structure of the abdominal gland. AVT was also found to induce spermatophore deposition in the male kept in the absence of the female. Administration of the V1 receptor blocker to the sexually developed males suppressed the spermatophore deposition. All these results indicate the involvement of AVT in reproductive events acting centrally and peripherally.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)346-353
    Number of pages8
    JournalHormones and Behavior
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2003 Nov


    • Arginine vasotocin (AVT)
    • Courtship
    • Newt
    • Reproductive behavior
    • Sodefrin
    • Spermatophore
    • Vasopressor receptor antagonist

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology
    • Behavioral Neuroscience
    • Neurology
    • Psychology(all)


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