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In male rats, noncontact erections occur concomitantly with an increase in NO2− and NO3− in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). In the present study, both responses were reduced by the blockade of PVN excitatory amino acid receptors by dizocilpine, (+)-MK-801(1 and 5 μg), but not by 6-cyano-7-nitro-quinoxaline-2,3-dione (5 μg) or (±)-2-amino-4-phosphono-butanoic acid (5 μg). Also ineffective when injected into the PVN were the dopamine antagonists SCH 23390 (5 μg), S(+)-raclopride (10 μg), and cis-flupenthixol (10 μg), and the oxytocin antagonist d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)2-Orn8-vasotocin (1 μg). However, when the last was given into the lateral ventricles, it reduced noncontact erections without modifying NO2– and NO3– increases. These results suggest that excitatory amino acid transmission increases in the PVN during noncontact erections. This may contribute to increased NO production in the PVN, and it may activate oxytocin neurons mediating this sexual response.