Region-specific testosterone modulation of the vasotocin-immunoreactive system in male dark-eyed junco, Junco hyemalis

L. Plumari, S. Plateroti, Pierre Deviche, G. C. Panzica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The nonapeptide vasotocin (VT) is the avian equivalent of the mammalian antidiuretic hormone vasopressin and is believed to control aggressive and reproductive behaviors. Brain VT distribution has been described in several domesticated avian species. We previously demonstrated that VT distribution in the brain of a free-ranging male passerine, the dark-eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis, resembles that in domesticated birds. A preliminary study also suggested that the VT-immunoreactive (VT-ir) system of juncos is regulated by testosterone (T), as is the case of galliforms. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the effects of castration and T replacement on brain VT-ir innervation in adult male juncos. Castration reduced VT-ir innervation in the lateral septum (SL), the medial preoptic nucleus, the nucleus of the stria terminalis and the intercollicularis nucleus. These effects of castration were largely reversed by T treatment at high physiological doses, but significantly so only for the SL. Given the demonstrated behavioral role of the above VT-ir-containing brain regions, the results suggest that these regions may be sites of action of VT on reproductive behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 27 2004


  • Androgen
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Testosterone
  • Vasotocin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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