Arginine vasopressin (AVP) is a neurohypophyseal peptide best known as an antidiuretic hormone. AVP receptors have been classified into three subtypes: V1a, V1b, and V2 receptors. V1a receptor (V1aR) and V1b receptor (V1bR) are widely distributed in the central nervous system, including the septum, cortex, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. Clinical studies have demonstrated an involvement of AVP in psychiatric disorders. In the present study, we examined the performance of V1aR or V1bR knockout (KO) mice compared to wild-type (WT) mice in behavioral tests. V1aR and V1bR KO mice exhibited deficits of social behavior and prepulse inhibition in comparison to WT mice. Moreover, V1aR KO mice exhibited reduced anxiety-like behavior and impairment of spatial learning. These results suggest that V1aR and V1bR play an important role in psychological and cognitive functions.
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