Arginine vasopressin receptor 1B

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Arginine vasopressin receptor 1B
Symbol(s) AVPR1B
Entrez 553
OMIM 600264
RefSeq NM_000707
UniProt P47901
Other data
Locus Chr. 1 q32

Arginine vasopressin receptor 1B (AVPR1B, vasopressin 3 receptor) is a protein that acts as cell surface receptor for arginine vasopressin. AVPR1B is a vasopressin receptor and belongs to the subfamily of G-protein coupled receptors. Its activity is mediated by G proteins which stimulate a phosphatidylinositol-calcium second messenger system.

AVPR1B was initially described as a novel vasopressin receptor located in the anterior pituitary, where it stimulates ACTH release (1), especially in synergism with corticotropin releasing factor. Subsequent studies have shown its presence in the brain as well (2),(3).

Inactivation of the Avpr1b in mice (knockout) produces mice with greatly reduced aggression and a reduced ability to recognize recently investigated mice (4). Interestingly, defensive behavior and predatory behaviors appear to normal in these knockout mice (5). There is evidence that social motivation or awareness is reduced in these mice (6). The AVPR1B antagonist, SSR149415, has been shown to have anti-aggressive actions in hamsters (7) and antidepressant and anxiety (anxiolytic)-like behaviors in rats (8).

Various stress-induced elevations of ACTH are blunted in the Avpr1b knockout mouse (9). AVPR1B is expressed at high levels in ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas as well as in bronchial carcinoids responsible for the ectopic ACTH syndrome.

The expression of this receptor also has an interesting form of self-regulation. Short peptides ("uORFs") of 10-38 amino acids in length encoded in the 5' "untranslated region" of the Avpr1b gene provide negative feedback on its expression through inhibition of translation (10).

A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) has been associated with susceptibility to depression in man (11).


  1. Antoni FA, Holmes MC, Makara GB, Karteszi M, Laszlo FA. Evidence that the effects of arginine-8-vasopressin (AVP) on pituitary corticotropin (ACTH) release are mediated by a novel type of receptor. Peptides. 5:519-22, 1984. PMID 6089144
  2. Hernando F, Schoots O, Lolait SJ, Burbach JP. Immunohistochemical localization of the vasopressin V1b receptor in the rat brain and pituitary gland: anatomical support for its involvement in the central effects of vasopressin. Endocrinology. 142:1659-68, 2001. PMID 11250948
  3. Young WS, Li J, Wersinger SR, Palkovits M. The vasopressin 1b receptor is prominent in the hippocampal area CA2 where it is unaffected by restraint stress or adrenalectomy. Neuroscience. 143:1031-9, 2006. PMID 17027167
  4. Wersinger SR, Ginns EI, O'Carroll AM, Lolait SJ, Young WS 3rd. Vasopressin V1b receptor knockout reduces aggressive behavior in male mice. Mol Psychiatry. 7:975-84, 2002. PMID 12399951 Website
  5. Wersinger SR, Caldwell HK, Christiansen M, Young WS 3rd. Disruption of the vasopressin 1b receptor gene impairs the attack component of aggressive behavior in mice. Genes Brain Behav. [Epub ahead of print 12/20/2006] PMID 17284170
  6. Wersinger SR, Kelliher KR, Zufall F, Lolait SJ, O'Carroll AM, Young WS 3rd. Social motivation is reduced in vasopressin 1b receptor null mice despite normal performance in an olfactory discrimination task. Horm Behav. 46:638-45, 2004. PMID 15555506
  7. Blanchard RJ, Griebel G, Farrokhi C, Markham C, Yang M, Blanchard DC. AVP V1b selective antagonist SSR149415 blocks aggressive behaviors in hamsters. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 80:189-94, 2005. PMID 15652395
  8. Serradeil-Le Gal C, Wagnon J 3rd, Tonnerre B, Roux R, Garcia G, Griebel G, Aulombard A. An overview of SSR149415, a selective nonpeptide vasopressin V(1b) receptor antagonist for the treatment of stress-related disorders. CNS Drug Rev. 11:53-68, 2005. PMID 15867952
  9. Lolait SJ, Stewart LQ, Jessop DS, Young WS 3rd, O'Carroll AM. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to stress in mice lacking functional vasopressin V1b receptors. Endocrinology. 148:849-56, 2007. PMID 17122081
  10. Rabadan-Diehl C, Martinez A, Volpi S, Subburaju S, Aguilera G. Inhibition of vasopressin V1b receptor translation by upstream open reading frames in the 5'-untranslated region. J Neuroendocrinol. 19:309-19, 2007. PMID 17355321
  11. van West D, Del-Favero J, Aulchenko Y, Oswald P, Souery D, Forsgren T, Sluijs S, Bel-Kacem S, Adolfsson R, Mendlewicz J, Van Duijn C, Deboutte D, Van Broeckhoven C, Claes S. A major SNP haplotype of the arginine vasopressin 1B receptor protects against recurrent major depression. Mol Psychiatry. 9:287-92, 2004. PMID 15094789