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Author Notes:

Meera Modi, 700 Main St. Cambridge, MA 02139, Telephone: 617-395-0681, meera.modi@pfizer.com.

Authors MEM, LJY and LAP designed the study; Authors MEM, LAP and FCS collected the samples; RL analyzed the samples; MEM carried out the statistical analyses and wrote the first draft of the manuscript; All authors contributed to and have approved the final manuscript.

The authors would like to thank the YNPRC veterinary staff for their vital participation in the collection of samples; and Dr. Mar Sanchez for her advice and assistance.

FCS, RL, LJY and LAP have no conflict of interest to declare.

MEM is currently employed by Pfizer Inc., though was not so during the time this research was conducted.


Research Funding:

NSF Center for Behavioral Neuroscience Pilot Grant (LAP); Emory Neuroscience Initiative Seed Grant (MEM, LJY, LAP); Center for Translational Social Neuroscience Pilot Grant (LAP, LJY); National Center for Research Resources P51RR165 to YNPRC, which is currently supported by the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs/OD P51OD11132); NIH MH068791 (LAP); and MH064692 (LJY).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Endocrinology & Metabolism
  • Neurosciences
  • Psychiatry
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • Oxytocin
  • Vasopressin
  • Social cognition
  • Intranasal
  • Autism
  • Rhesus monkey

Aerosolized oxytocin increases cerebrospinal fluid oxytocin in rhesus macaques


Journal Title:



Volume 45


, Pages 49-57

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Intranasal (IN) administration is a widely used method for examining the effect of oxytocin (OT) on social behavior and cognition in healthy subjects and psychiatric populations. IN-OT in humans enhances trust, emotional perception, and empathetic behavior and is under investigation as a potential pharmacotherapy to enhance social functioning in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Nonhuman primates (NHP) are an important model for understanding the effect of OT on social cognition, its neural mechanisms, and the development of IN-OT as a pharmacotherapy for treating social deficits in humans. However, NHP and even some human populations, such as very young infants and children, cannot easily follow the detailed self-administration protocol used in the majority of human IN-OT studies. Therefore, we evaluated the efficacy of several OT-administration routes for elevating central OT concentrations in rhesus macaques. First, we examined the effect of IN and intravenous (IV) routes of OT administration on concentrations of OT and vasopressin (AVP) in plasma and lumbar CSF. Second, we examined these same measures in monkeys after an aerosolized (AE) OT delivery route. All three administration routes significantly increased plasma OT concentrations, but only the AE-OT route significantly increased concentrations of CSF OT. No route affected concentrations of AVP in plasma or CSF. This study confirms that the AE route is the most effective method for increasing central OT concentrations in monkeys, and may also be an effective route, alternative to IN, for administering OT to some human populations.

Copyright information:

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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