Neuroanatomical distribution and function of the vasopressin V1B receptor in the rat brain deciphered using specific fluorescent ligands

Maithé Corbani, Rafik Marir, Miguel Trueba, Magda Chafai, Anne Vincent, Amélie M. Borie, Michel G. Desarménien, Yoichi Ueta, C. Tömböly, Aleksandra Olma, Maurice Manning, Gilles Guillon

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6 Citations (Scopus)


It is now accepted that vasopressin, through V1A/V1B receptors, centrally regulates cognitive functions such as memory, affiliation, stress, fear and depression. However, the respective roles of these receptor isoforms and their contribution to stress-related pathologies remain uncertain. The development of new therapeutic treatments requires a precise knowledge of the distribution of these receptors within the brain, which has been so far hampered by the lack of selective V1B markers. In the present study, we have determined the pharmacological properties of three new potent rat V1B fluorescent ligands and demonstrated that they constitute valuable tools for simultaneous visualization and activation of native V1B receptors in living rat brain tissue. Thus, d[Leu4,Lys-Alexa 647)8]VP (analogue 3), the compound with the best affinity-selectivity/fluorescence ratio for the V1B receptor emerged as the most promising. The rat brain regions most concerned by stress such as hippocampus, olfactory bulbs, cortex and amygdala display the highest V1B fluorescent labelling with analogue 3. In the hippocampus CA2, V1B receptors are located on glutamatergic, not GABAergic neurones, and are absent from astrocytes. Using AVP-EGFP rats, we demonstrate the presence of V1B autoreceptors on AVP-secreting neurones not only in the hypothalamus, but also sparsely in the hippocampus. Finally, using both electrophysiology and visualization of ERK phosphorylation, we show analogue 3-induced activation of the V1B receptor in situ. This will help to analyse expression and functionality of V1B receptors in the brain and contribute to further explore the AVPergic circuitry in normal and pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-32
Number of pages18
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Anxiety
  • Central nervous system
  • GPCR
  • Rodents
  • Stress
  • V brain anatomy
  • Vasopressin receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

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    Corbani, M., Marir, R., Trueba, M., Chafai, M., Vincent, A., Borie, A. M., Desarménien, M. G., Ueta, Y., Tömböly, C., Olma, A., Manning, M., & Guillon, G. (2018). Neuroanatomical distribution and function of the vasopressin V1B receptor in the rat brain deciphered using specific fluorescent ligands. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 258, 15-32.