Thesis Title

Central Cardiovascular Effects of Arginine Vasopressin in the Lateral Habenular Region in Anesthetized Rats

Date of Graduation

Fall 1986


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Michael Craig

Subject Categories



Recent radioimmunoassay and immunohistochemical studies have shown the presence of vasopressinergic and oxytocinergic fibers extending from the paraventricular and suprachiasmatic nuclei in the hypothalamus to other brain structures. The lateral habenular region in the rat brain has been shown to specifically receive vasopressinergic, but not oxytocinergic, fibers from the suprachiasmatic nuclei. The physiological significance of these fibers was investigated by measuring changes in arterial blood pressure and heart rate following central microinjections of arginine vasopressin into the left lateral habenular nucleus of anesthetized rats. Microinjections of this nonapeptide elicited a significant and immediate increase in arterial blood pressure and heart rate above basal values. A central injection of a similar nonapeptide, oxytocin, demonstrated no significant change in arterial blood pressure or heart rate. Injections of saline also induced no change from basal values. The increased cardiovascular activity elicited by central administration of arginine vasopressin suggests that vasopressin acts within the lateral habenular region to exert a central cardiovascular effect.


© Kristy Dean Lake