Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Psychological Science


Psychological Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Adam J. Prus


Neurotensin (NT) is a peptide neurotransmitter that interacts with brain monoamine neurotransmitter systems. It has been demonstrated that neurotensin type 1 and type 2 receptor agonists influence animal models of psychological disorders and pain regulation, respectively. It has already been shown that the systemic administration of the selective neurotensin type 1 receptor agonist PD149163 can attenuate the number of fear-induced 22-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) produced by male Wistar rats. A reduction in the number of 22-kHz USV calls is indicative of an anxiolytic effect. The current study used a USV model to evaluate the effects of PD149163 (0.1, 1.0, and 10.0 ng) and endogenous NT (0.1, 1.0, and 10.0 µg) when administered into the lateral ventricle of male Wistar rats. Both 10ng of PD149163 and 10µg of NT were shown to attenuate USV calls when administered into the lateral ventricle. PD149163 was found to have a higher potency than NT in the USV model. In addition, while 100ng of PD149163 significantly reduced USV calls, it did not reduce locomotion on an open field that was surrounded by bright lighting. These data suggest neurotensin receptor activation is a putative mechanism for novel pharmacological treatments of anxiety disorders.

Access Type

Open Access