Oxytocin and vasopressin as candidate genes for psychiatric disorders: Lessons from animal models

L. Almasy, J. Blangero

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    49 Scopus citations


    Multiple approaches should be taken to investigate the genetic bases of psychiatric disorders, including the consideration of candidate genes. Studies in animal models suggest that the genes encoding oxytocin, vasopressin, and their respective receptors should be considered in a candidate gene approach for psychiatric disorders involving social deficits, such as autism or social phobias. These neuropeptide hormones may mediate the rewarding nature of social interactions and have been implicated in social attachment and social recognition in several animal models. Mutations in genes unrelated to oxytocin and vasopressin have been shown to have secondary effects on neuropeptide function and subsequent behavioral phenotypes. Genetic analysis of polymorphisms and expression analysis of candidate genes implicated in animal models may prove useful for determining the molecular mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders, particularly in cases where other techniques proven difficult.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)53-54
    Number of pages2
    JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 8 2001


    • Autism
    • Neuropeptides
    • Social behavior

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Genetics(clinical)
    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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