Arginine-vasotocin (AVT), a non-mammalian homologue of mammalian arginine-vasopressin, is a stress-related peptide in the brain of birds. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of AVT on feeding behavior, body temperature, corticosterone release and several behavioral parameters in chicks. These effects were compared with those of corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF), another stress-related peptide. The ICV injection of AVT inhibited feeding behavior, increased rectal temperature, and increased plasma corticosterone concentrations, but these effects were weaker than those of CRF. AVT induced hypoactivity as evidenced by decreased vocalization and stepping while CRF induced hyperactivity. The present results demonstrate that some functions of brain AVT are similar to those of CRF, although these effects are weaker than those induced by CRF. However, some AVT-induced behaviors were different from CRF, indicating that the physiological roles of AVT in the regulation of stress behavior are different from those of CRF in chicks.
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