Intracerebroventricular injection of choline increases plasma oxytocin levels in conscious rats

Savci V., Gurun M. S. , Ulus I., Kiran B.

BRAIN RESEARCH, vol.709, no.1, pp.97-102, 1996 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 709 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/0006-8993(95)01308-3
  • Journal Name: BRAIN RESEARCH
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.97-102
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


In the present study, we examined the effect of intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) injected choline on both basal and stimulated oxytocin release in conscious rats. I.c.v. injection of choline (50-150 mu g) caused time- and dose-dependent increases in plasma oxytocin levels under normal conditions. The increase in plasma oxytocin levels in response to i.c.v. choline (150 mu g) was greatly attenuated by the pretreatment of rats with atropine (10 mu g; i.c.v.), muscarinic receptor antagonist. Mecamylamine (50 mu g; i.c.v.), a nicotinic receptor antagonist, failed to suppress the effect of 150 mu g choline on oxytocin levels. Pretreatment of rats with 20 mu g of hemicholinium-3 (HC-3), a specific inhibitor of choline uptake into nerve terminals, greatly attenuated the increase in plasma oxytocin levels in response to i.c.v. choline injection. Osmotic stimuli induced by either oral administration of 1 mi hypertonic saline (3 M) following 24-h dehydration of rats (type 1) or an i.c.v. injection of hypertonic saline (1 M) (type 2) increased plasma oxytocin levels significantly, but hemorrhage did not alter basal oxytocin concentrations. The i.c.v. injection of choline (50, 150 mu g) under these conditions caused an additional and significant increase in plasma oxytocin concentrations beyond that produced by choline in normal conditions. These data show that choline can increase plasma oxytocin concentrations through the stimulation of central cholinergic muscarinic receptors by presynaptic mechanisms and enhance the stimulated oxytocin release.