Neurobiology of pair bonding in fishes; convergence of neural mechanisms across distant vertebrate lineages
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
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AbstractPair bonding has independently evolved numerous times among vertebrates. The governing neural mechanisms of pair bonding have only been studied in depth in the mammalian model species, the prairie vole, Microtus ochrogaster. In this species, oxytocin (OT), arginine vasopressin (AVP), dopamine (DA), and opioid (OP) systems play key roles in signaling in the formation and maintenance of pair bonding by targeting specific social and reward-mediating brain regions. By contrast, the neural basis of pair bonding is poorly studied in other vertebrates, and especially those of early origins, limiting our understanding of the evolutionary history of pair bonding regulatory mechanisms. We compared receptor gene expression between pair bonded and solitary individuals across eight socio-functional brain regions. We found that in females, ITR and V1aR receptor expression varied in the lateral septum-like region (the Vv/Vl), while in both sexes D1R, D2R, and MOR expression varied within the mesolimbic reward system, including a striatum-like region (the Vc); mirroring sites of action in M. ochrogaster. This study provides novel insights into the neurobiology of teleost pair bonding. It also reveals high convergence in the neurochemical mechanisms governing pair bonding across actinopterygians and sarcopterygians, by repeatedly co-opting and similarly assembling deep neurochemical and neuroanatomical homologies that originated in ancestral osteithes.
CitationNowicki J, Pratchett M, Walker S, Coker D, O’Connell LA (2017) Neurobiology of pair bonding in fishes; convergence of neural mechanisms across distant vertebrate lineages. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/214759.
PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory
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