Oxytocin mediates the antidepressant effects of mating behavior in male mice.
A significant association between plasma oxytocin (OT) levels and depression has been demonstrated. A recent study found that sexual activity and mating with a female induced the release of OT in the central nervous system of male rats. Here we examined the effect of mating behavior on depression-related behavior in wild-type (WT) and OT receptor-deficient (OTR KO) male mice. The WT males showed a reduction in depression-related behavior after mating behavior, but the OTR KO mice did not. Application of an OTR antagonist inhibited mating behavior-induced antidepressant effect in WT males. OT may mediate the antidepressant effects of mating behavior.
If only there was mouse porn, we could find out whether a real female makes all the difference!