Oxytocin is implicated in social memory deficits induced by early sensory deprivation in mice

Jin-Bao Zhang, Ling Chen, Zhu-Man Lv, Xue-Yuan Niu, Can-Can Shao, Chan Zhang, Michal Pruski, Ying Huang, Cong-Cong Qi, Ning-Ning Song, Bing Lang, Yu-Qiang Ding*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Early-life sensory input plays a crucial role in brain development. Although deprivation of orofacial sensory input at perinatal stages disrupts the establishment of the barrel cortex and relevant callosal connections, its long-term effect on adult behavior remains elusive. In this study, we investigated the behavioral phenotypes in adult mice with unilateral transection of the infraorbital nerve (ION) at postnatal day 3 (P3). Although ION-transected mice had normal locomotor activity, motor coordination, olfaction, anxiety-like behaviors, novel object memory, preference for social novelty and sociability, they presented deficits in social memory and spatial memory compared with control mice. In addition, the social memory deficit was associated with reduced oxytocin (OXT) levels in the hypothalamus and could be partially restored by intranasal administration of OXT. Thus, early sensory deprivation does result in behavioral alterations in mice, some of which may be associated with the disruption of oxytocin signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular brain
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

We thank Miss Jia-Yin and Miss Yu-Ling Sun for their help in breading the mice.

This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81200933 to N.-N. Song; 81200692 to L. Chen; 81101026 to Y. Huang; 31528011 to B. Lang; 81221001, 91232724 and 81571332 to Y-Q. Ding), Zhejiang Province Natural Science Foundation of China (LQ13C090004 to C. Zhang), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2016 M591714 to C.-C. Qi), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2013KJ049).


  • Sensory deprivation
  • Infraorbital nerve
  • Social memory
  • Oxytocin
  • Spatial memory
  • Autism
  • Mouse barrel cortex
  • autistic-like behavior
  • somatosensory cortex
  • early experience
  • split-brain
  • functional-organization
  • synaptic plasticity
  • vibrissal damage
  • medial amygdala
  • water-maze


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