Comments and Questions:


In this paper, the authors showed that oxytocin helps mother rats to suppress their self-defense mechanisms while turning on the behaviors of protecting their young. To clarifying the underlying mechanisms for this switching, the authors first gave dams the peppermint odor plus footshocks to condition rat dams to fear an odor. These rats would be freezing whenever they smelled peppermint in the absence of peppermint odor. In contrary, when mother rats with their pups were exposed to the odor, they did not freeze; instead, they tried to defend their pups. Then, the authors performed the same tests except blocking oxytocin receptor in amygdala and found that dams were kept immobile in the presence of the odor and pups, highlighting the critical role of oxytocin receptor signaling in the amygdala in this switch. At last, they also confirmed the mother-pup interactions are crucial for pup threat learning. In the opinion of the authors, oxytocin switches the self-defense of dams to the mother-pup interactions and pups learn about threats from their mother. This is a carefully designed study of mother-pup interactions and has a very neat presentation, thereby worthy of learning.  


1) Whats the potential mechanism underlying oxytocin suppression of amygdala activity?

2) Why did the author use PBS to as the control? What would be if the authors used ACSF but not PBS?

3) Whats the method of standard CS cue test?

4) How did the authors give the peppermint odor to the rats?

5) Whether dams in PP7-18 show results different from those at early and late times?

6) What is the merit of switching pups of different ages in testing the factors influencing mother's reaction?



2017-9- 14 Literature Analysis

Elizabeth Rickenbacher, Rosemarie E Perry, Regina M Sullivan, Marta A Moita . Freezing suppression by oxytocin in central amygdala allows alternate defensive behaviours and mother-pup interactions. Presented by Dongyang Li.

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