Genital Sensation: CNS Targets and Functions in Females

Response to Komisaruk's paper

Mary Erskine

    The results you describe on oxytocin effects on spinal preganglionics and the dilatation of the pupil are interesting
and convincing, and they bring to mind the role of the sympathetics and superior cervical ganglion in pineal responses to light.
Is there a functional role of pupil dilatation in response to
VCS, i.e. how do we put this response in a larger context?

    We've recently looked very hard to find oxytocin release
in response to mating stimulation (15 intromissions including
ejaculations)in the cycling proestrus rat, but were unable to
see any increase in plasma oxytocin (Polston, Centorino &
Erskine, 1998, Endocrinology 139:4849-4859).  However, there
were increased numbers of FOS-positive oxytocin cells in the
PVN and SON after mating at 0600h.  What do you think might
account for the difference between your finding of increased
plasma OT and our failure to find it?

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