Pituitary Neuropeptides and Behavior

  • D. de Wied
Part of the Published Nobel Symposia book series (NOFS, volume 42)


The implication of ACTH, α-MSH and the neurohypophyseal hormones on adaptive behavior was first suggested by classical endocrine methods i.e. by the removal of the endocrine gland, in this case, the pituitary, the subsequent demonstration of a deficiency and finally the correction of the deficient function by treatment with hormones produced by the extirpated gland. Removal of the anterior lobe of the pituitary (De Wied, 1964) or the whole gland (Applezweig and Baudry, 1955; De Wied, 1969; Weiss et al., 1970) in rats impairs acquisition of shuttle box avoidance behavior. Removal of the posterior pituitary does not materially affect acquisition but interferes with the maintenance of shuttle box avoidance behavior (De Wied, 1965). These behavioral impairments could be corrected with ACTH but also with a-MSH and fragments of ACTH/MSH which are devoid of corticotropic effects, and with [Lys8]vasopressin (LVP) and [des-Gly9-Lys8] vasopressin (DG-LVP) the latter being virtually devoid of the classical endocrine effects of vasopressin (De Wied, 1969; Lande et al., 1971; Bohus et al., 1973). These results suggested that the behavioral effects of pituitary hormones are not mediated through an influence on their endocrine target tissues.


Avoidance Behavior Retention Test Pituitary Hormone Related Peptide Opiate Receptor 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. de Wied
    • 1
  1. 1.Rudolf Magnus Institute for Pharmacology, Medical FacultyUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtNetherlands

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