Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 219, Issue 3, pp 1055–1081

Extending the socio-sexual brain: arginine-vasopressin immunoreactive circuits in the telencephalon of mice

  • Marcos Otero-Garcia
  • Ana Martin-Sanchez
  • Lluis Fortes-Marco
  • Joana Martínez-Ricós
  • Carmen Agustin-Pavón
  • Enrique Lanuza
  • Fernando Martínez-García
Original Article


Quantitative analysis of the immunoreactivity for arginine-vasopressin (AVP-ir) in the telencephalon of male (intact and castrated) and female CD1 mice allows us to precisely locate two sexually dimorphic (more abundant in intact than castrated males and females) AVP-ir cell groups in the posterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) and the amygdala. Chemoarchitecture (NADPH diaphorase) reveals that the intraamygdaloid AVP-ir cells are located in the intra-amygdaloid BST (BSTIA) rather than the medial amygdala (Me), as previously thought. Then, we have used for the first time tract tracing (combined with AVP immunofluorescence) and fiber-sparing lesions of the BST to analyze the projections of the telencephalic AVP-ir cell groups. The results demonstrate that the posterior BST originates the sexually dimorphic innervation of the lateral septum, the posterodorsal Me and a substance P-negative area in the medioventral striato-pallidum (mvStP).The BSTIA may also contribute to some of these terminal fields. Our material also reveals non-dimorphic AVP-ir processes in two locations of the amygdala. First, the ventral Me shows dendrite-like AVP-ir processes apparently belonging supraoptic neurons, whose possible functions are discussed. Second, the Ce shows sparse, thick AVP-ir axons with high individual variability in density and distribution, whose possible influence on stress coping in relation to the affiliative or agonistic behaviors mediated by the Me are discussed. Finally, we propose that the region of the mvStP showing sexually dimorphic AVP-ir innervation is part of the brain network for socio-sexual behavior, in which it would mediate motivational aspects of chemosensory-guided social interactions.


Medial ventral striatum Ventral pallidum Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis Islands of Calleja Amygdala Socio-sexual behavior 



Third ventricle


Anterior amygdaloid area


Anterior amygdaloid area, dorsal part


Anterior amygdaloid area, ventral part


Anterior commissural nucleus


Anterior commissure, anterior part


Accumbens nucleus


Accumbens nucleus, core


Accumbens nucleus, shell


Anterior cortical amygdaloid nucleus


Anterior commissure, posterior part


Anterodorsal thalamic nucleus


Anterodorsal preoptic nucleus


Anterior hypothalamic area, anterior part


Amygdalohippocampal area, anterolateral part


Amygdalohippocampal area, medial posterior part


Agranular insular cortex, posterior part


Anteromedial thalamic nucleus


Anterior olfactory nucleus, medial part


Anterior olfactory nucleus, posterior part


Amygdalopiriform transition area


Amygdalostriatal transition area


Anteroventral thalamic nucleus




Anteroventral periventricular nucleus


Arginine-vasopressin immunoreactive


Anteroventral thalamic nucleus, ventral part


Bed nucleus of the anterior commissure


Bed nucleus of the accessory olfactory tract


Basolateral amygdaloid nucleus, anterior


Basolateral amygdaloid nucleus, posterior


Basolateral amygdaloid nucleus, ventral


Basomedial amygdaloid nucleus, anterior


Basomedial amygdaloid nucleus, posterior


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, intraamygdaloid division


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, lateral division, dorsal part


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, lateral division, intermediate part


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, lateral division, juxtacapsular part


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, lateral division, posterior part


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, lateral division, ventral part


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, medial division, anterior part


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, medial division, posterior part


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, medial division, posterointermediate part


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, medial division, posterolateral part


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, medial division, posteromedial part


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, medial division, ventral part


Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, supracapsular part


Field CA1 of hippocampus


Field CA2 of hippocampus


Field CA3 of hippocampus


Corpus callosum


Central amygdaloid nucleus


Central amygdaloid nucleus, capsular part


Central amygdaloid nucleus, lateral division


Central amygdaloid nucleus, medial division


Central amygdaloid nucleus, medial division, posteroventral part


Cingulate cortex, area 1


Cingulate cortex, area 2




Central medial thalamic nucleus


Caudate putamen (striatum)


Cortex-amygdala transition zone


Dorsal third ventricle


Dorsal endopiriform nucleus


Dentate gyrus


Dorsal peduncular cortex


Dorsal tenia tecta






Fimbria of the hippocampus


Forceps minor of the corpus callosum


Granular layer of the dentate gyrus


Nucleus of the horizontal limb of the diagonal band


Intercalated nuclei of the amygdala


Interanterodorsal thalamic nucleus


Internal capsule


Islands of Calleja


Islands of Calleja, major island


Indusium griseum


Infralimbic cortex


Intercalated amygdaloid nucleus, main part


Interstitial nucleus of the posterior limb of the anterior commissure


Lateral interstitial nucleus of the posterior limb of the anterior commissure


Medial interstitial nucleus of the posterior limb of the anterior commissure


Lateral amygdaloid nucleus


Lateroanterior hypothalamic nucleus


Lateral amygdaloid nucleus, dorsolateral part


Lateral amygdaloid nucleus, ventrolateral part


Lateral amygdaloid nucleus, ventromedial part


Lateral entorhinal cortex


Lateral globus pallidus


Lateral hypothalamic area


Lateral olfactory tract


Nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract


Nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract, layer 1


Nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract, layer 2


Nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract, layer 3


Lateral preoptic area


Lateral septum


Lateral septal nucleus, dorsal part


Lateral septal nucleus, intermediate part


Lateral septal nucleus, ventral part


Lateral ventricle


Primary motor cortex


Secondary motor cortex


Magnocellular preoptic nucleus


Mediodorsal thalamic nucleus


Medial amygdaloid nucleus


Medial amygdaloid nucleus, anterior part


Medial amygdaloid nucleus, anterior dorsal part


Medial amygdaloid nucleus, anteroventral part


Medial amygdaloid nucleus, posterodorsal part


Medial amygdaloid nucleus, posteroventral part


Medial forebrain bundle


Medial globus pallidus (entopeduncular nucleus)


Median preoptic nucleus


Medial orbital cortex


Medial preoptic area


Medial preoptic nucleus


Medial preoptic nucleus, medial part


Medial septal nucleus


Medioventral striato-pallidum


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase


Optic tract


Oriens layer of the hippocampus


Paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus, anterior parvicellular part


Phosphate buffer


Phosphate buffered saline


Piriform cortex


Posterolateral cortical amygdaloid nucleus


Posteromedial cortical amygdaloid nucleus


Perirhinal cortex


Prelimbic cortex


Paratenial thalamic nucleus


Paraventricular thalamic nucleus, anterior part


Pyramidal cell layer of the hippocampus


Stratum radiatum of the hippocampus


Reuniens thalamic nucleus


Reticular thalamic nucleus


Suprachiasmatic nucleus


Septofimbrial nucleus


Subfornical organ


Septohippocampal nucleus


Septohypothalamic nucleus


Substantia innominata


Stratum lucidum, hippocampus


Nucleus of the stria medullaris


Stria medullaris of the thalamus


Supraoptic nucleus


Substance P


Stria terminalis


Strial part of the preoptic area


TRIS buffered saline


Olfactory tubercle


Arginine-vasopressin receptor type 1a


Arginine-vasopressin receptor type 1b


Ventral anterior thalamic nucleus


Ventral endopiriform nucleus


Ventral diagonal band


Ventrolateral preoptic nucleus


Ventromedial preoptic nucleus


Ventral orbital cortex


Vascular organ of the lamina terminalis


Ventral pallidum


Ventral tenia tecta


Xiphoid thalamic nucleus


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcos Otero-Garcia
    • 1
  • Ana Martin-Sanchez
    • 1
  • Lluis Fortes-Marco
    • 1
  • Joana Martínez-Ricós
    • 2
  • Carmen Agustin-Pavón
    • 3
  • Enrique Lanuza
    • 1
  • Fernando Martínez-García
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratori de Neuroanatomia Funcional Comparada, Depts. Biologia Funcional i Biologia Cel·lular, Fac. Ciències BiològiquesUniv. ValènciaBurjassotSpain
  2. 2.Dept. Anatomia i Embriologia Humana, Fac. MedicinaUniv. ValènciaValènciaSpain
  3. 3.EMBL/CRG Systems Biology Research Unit, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG)Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)BarcelonaSpain

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