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Oxytocin-mediated social enrichment promotes longer telomeres and novelty seeking

  1. Jamshid Faraji  Is a corresponding author
  2. Mitra Karimi
  3. Nabiollah Soltanpour
  4. Alireza Moharrerie
  5. Zahra Rouhzadeh
  6. Hamid lotfi
  7. S Abedin Hosseini
  8. S Yaghoob Jafari
  9. Shabnam Roudaki
  10. Reza Moeeini  Is a corresponding author
  11. Gerlinde AS Metz  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Lethbridge, Canada
  2. Exceptional Education Organization, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  3. Babol University of Medical Science, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  4. Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  5. Islamic Azad University, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  6. Avicenna Institute of Neuroscience, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Research Article
  • Cited 3
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e40262 doi: 10.7554/eLife.40262

Abstract

The quality of social relationships is a powerful determinant of lifetime health. Here, we explored the impact of social experiences on circulating oxytocin (OT) concentration, telomere length (TL) and novelty-seeking behaviour in male and female rats. Prolonged social housing raised circulating OT levels in both sexes while elongating TL only in females. Novelty-seeking behaviour in females was more responsive to social housing and increased OT levels than males. The OT antagonist (OT ANT) L-366,509 blocked the benefits of social housing in all conditions along with female-specific TL erosion and novelty-seeking deficit. Thus, females seem more susceptible than males to genetic and behavioural changes when the secretion of endogenous OT in response to social life is interrupted. Social enrichment may therefore provide a therapeutic avenue to promote stress resiliency and chances of healthy aging across generations.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Jamshid Faraji

    Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada
    For correspondence
    jamshid.faraji@uleth.ca
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-1726-5836
  2. Mitra Karimi

    Inclusive-Integrated Education Program for Children with Special Needs, Exceptional Education Organization, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Nabiollah Soltanpour

    Department of Anatomical Sciences, Babol University of Medical Science, Babol, Iran, Islamic Republic of
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Alireza Moharrerie

    Department of Anatomy, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran, Islamic Republic of
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Zahra Rouhzadeh

    Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Sari, Iran, Islamic Republic of
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Hamid lotfi

    Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Tonekabon, Iran, Islamic Republic of
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. S Abedin Hosseini

    Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran, Islamic Republic of
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. S Yaghoob Jafari

    Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran, Islamic Republic of
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Shabnam Roudaki

    Department of Behavioural Studies, Avicenna Institute of Neuroscience, Yazd, Iran, Islamic Republic of
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Reza Moeeini

    Department of Behavioural Studies, Avicenna Institute of Neuroscience, Yazd, Iran, Islamic Republic of
    For correspondence
    reza.moeeni123@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  11. Gerlinde AS Metz

    Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada
    For correspondence
    gerlinde.metz@uleth.ca
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Grant #5519)

  • Gerlinde AS Metz

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All procedures in this study were carried out in accordance with the National Institute of Health Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and were approved by the institutional animal care committee (Protocol No. 004674BGH; Avicenna Institute of Neuroscience-AINS).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Peggy Mason, University of Chicago, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: July 19, 2018
  2. Accepted: November 12, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: November 13, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: December 3, 2018 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2018, Faraji et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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Further reading

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