Roles of arginine vasotocin receptors in the brain and pituitary of submammalian vertebrates

Itaru Hasunuma*, Fumiyo Toyoda, Reiko Okada, Kazutoshi Yamamoto, Yoshihiko Kadono, Sakae Kikuyama

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter reviews the functions of arginine vasotocin (AVT) and its receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) of primarily submammalian vertebrates. The V1a-type receptor, which is widely distributed in the CNS of birds, amphibians, and fish, is one of the most important receptors involved in the expression of social and reproductive behaviors. In mammals, the V1b receptor of arginine vasopressin, an AVT ortholog, is assumed to be involved in aggression, social memory, and stress responses. The distribution of the V1b-type receptor in the brain of submammalian vertebrates has only been reported in an amphibian species, and its putative functions are discussed in this review. The functions of V2-type receptor in the CNS are still unclear. Recent phylogenetical and pharmacological analyses have revealed that the avian VT1 receptor can be categorized as a V2b-type receptor. The distribution of this newly categorized VT1 receptor in the brain of avian species should contribute to our knowledge of the possible roles of the V2b-type receptor in the CNS of other nonmammalian vertebrates. The functions of AVT in the amphibian and avian pituitaries are also discussed, focusing on the V1b- and V1a-type receptors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)191-225
    Number of pages35
    JournalInternational Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Animal behavior
    • Arginine vasopressin
    • Arginine vasotocin
    • Brain
    • Pituitary
    • Submammalian vertebrate

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology
    • Biochemistry


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