Section on Neural Gene Expression

of the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation

Welcome. The Section on Neural Gene Expression investigates the roles and regulation of expression of vasopressin and oxytocin in the central nervous system. They are 9 amino acid peptide hormones that participate in the regulation of fluid balance, parturition and lactation. In addition, they have important roles in various behaviors, including aggression, social memory and parental care, through their actions mediated by at least 3 brain receptors. A schematic of their genes is shown below.

Our group uses a variety of techniques ranging from anatomical (hybridization histochemistry and receptor autoradiography) to molecular biological to transgenic animals to explore the functions of oxytocin and vasopressin. For example, we have generated mice lacking functional oxytocin, as well as mice that express green fluorescent protein in oxytocin neurons, in our attempts to determine the essential and non-essential roles of this hormone. We created vasopressin 1b receptor knockout mice that show a marked reduction in aggression and a modest decline in social recognition. We have recently begun studying the first conditional knockout of one of these receptors - the oxytocin receptor. Reduction of the receptor in the forebrain of mice resutls in decreased fear conditioning and deficits in intra-strain, but not inter-strain, social recognition. Our various studies with transgenic, including knockout mice, are listed here

We hope that you find the information we present on our website, including protocols and publications, informative and useful.


Vasopressin-Oxytocin Locus

Go here for more information about vasopressin and oxytocin.

Current members of the SNGE
Scott Young, MD, PhD49/5A56      301-496-8767      wsy@mail.nih.gov
Adi Cymerblit-Sabba, PhD49/5A51      301-496-5565      cymerblitsabba@mail.nih.gov
Gazi Rashid, BS49/5A51      301-496-9581      gazi.rashid@nih.gov
Emily Shepard, BS49/5A51      301-496-0716      sheparde@mail.nih.gov
June Song, BS49/5A51      301-594-2245      songjh2@mail.nih.gov
Claire Weichselbaum, BA49/5A51      301-435-1596      weichselbaumct@mail.nih.gov
Adam Smith, PhD49/5A51      301-594-2768      adam.smith@nih.gov
Sarah Williams Avram, PhD49/5A51      301-451-8332      williamssk@mail.nih.gov


NIMH LOGO AND LINK NIH LOGO AND LINK DHHS LOGO AND LINK USA GOV LOGO AND LINK