Oxytocin (OXT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) support sex-specific and context-appropriate social behaviors. Although alterations of these systems underlie the appearance of neuropsychiatric disorders, their formation and developmental dynamics remain largely unknown. Using novel brain clearing techniques and 3D imaging, we have reconstructed the specification of oxytocinergic and vasopressinergic circuits in the developing mouse brain with unprecedented cellular resolution. A systematic quantification indicates that OXT and AVP neurons in the hypothalamus display distinctive dynamics, but also share common features as a high cellular plasticity from embryonic to early postnatal stages. Our findings reveal new insights into the appearance and consolidation of neuropeptidergic systems in the developing CNS which is a critical step to unveil brain formation and function.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience