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Sample records for human oxytocin receptor

  1. Molecular characterization of a cloned human oxytocin receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, T; Makino, Y; Saji, F; Takemura, M; Inoue, T; Kikuchi, T; Kubota, Y; Azuma, C; Nobunaga, T; Tokugawa, Y

    1994-10-01

    We describe here the binding and functional properties of a cloned human oxytocin receptor (OTR). We established a transient OTR expression system on COS-1 cells, which do not express vasopressin receptors. With the transfected cells and [3H]oxytocin, the dissociation constant (Kd) of OTR to oxytocin was 6.0 +/- 1.1 nmol/l; the binding properties of several oxytocin-related peptides were also examined. The functional properties of OTR were determined by an electrophysiological method, using a Xenopus laevis oocyte injected with in vitro transcribed OTR mRNA. These two methods showed that [Phe2,Orn8]vasotocin, a vasopressin agonist, was an OTR antagonist. A combination of these methods using cloned OTR cDNA is a novel and effective method for the investigation of oxytocin-related ligands.

  2. Oxytocin Receptor (OXTR Polymorphisms and Attachment in Human Infants

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    Frances S Chen

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Ordinary variations in human infants’ attachment behaviors—their proclivity to seek and accept comfort from caregivers—are associated with a wide range of individual differences in psychological functioning in adults. The current investigation examined variation in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene as one possible source of these variations in infant attachment. One hundred and seventy-six infants (77 Caucasian, 99 non-Caucasian were classified as securely or insecurely attached based on their behavior in the Strange Situation (Ainsworth et al., 1976. The A allele at OXTR rs2254298 was associated with attachment security in the non-Caucasian infants (p < .005. These findings underscore the importance of oxytocin in the development of human social behavior and support its role in social stress-regulation and the development of trust.

  3. Selective localization of oxytocin receptors and vasopressin 1a receptors in the human brainstem.

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    Freeman, Sara M; Smith, Aaron L; Goodman, Mark M; Bales, Karen L

    2017-04-01

    Intranasal oxytocin (OT) affects a suite of human social behaviors, including trust, eye contact, and emotion recognition. However, it is unclear where oxytocin receptors (OXTR) and the structurally related vasopressin 1a receptors (AVPR1a) are expressed in the human brain. We have previously described a reliable, pharmacologically informed receptor autoradiography protocol for visualizing these receptors in postmortem primate brain tissue. We used this technique in human brainstem tissue to identify the neural targets of OT and vasopressin. To determine binding selectivity of the OXTR radioligand and AVPR1a radioligand, sections were incubated in four conditions: radioligand alone, radioligand with the selective AVPR1a competitor SR49059, and radioligand with a low or high concentration of the selective OXTR competitor ALS-II-69. We found selective OXTR binding in the spinal trigeminal nucleus, a conserved region of OXTR expression in all primate species investigated to date. We found selective AVPR1a binding in the nucleus prepositus, an area implicated in eye gaze stabilization. The tissue's postmortem interval (PMI) was not correlated with either the specific or nonspecific binding of either radioligand, indicating that it will not likely be a factor in similar postmortem studies. This study provides critical data for future studies of OXTR and AVPR1a in human brain tissue.

  4. Drug delivery to the human and mouse uterus using immunoliposomes targeted to the oxytocin receptor.

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    Paul, Jonathan W; Hua, Susan; Ilicic, Marina; Tolosa, Jorge M; Butler, Trent; Robertson, Sarah; Smith, Roger

    2017-03-01

    The ability to provide safe and effective pharmacotherapy during obstetric complications, such as preterm labor or postpartum hemorrhage, is hampered by the systemic toxicity of therapeutic agents leading to adverse side effects in the mother and fetus. Development of novel strategies to target tocolytic and uterotonic agents specifically to uterine myocytes would improve therapeutic efficacy while minimizing the risk of side effects. Ligand-targeted liposomes have emerged as a reliable and versatile platform for targeted drug delivery to specific cell types, tissues or organs. Our objective was to develop a targeted drug delivery system for the uterus utilizing an immunoliposome platform targeting the oxytocin receptor. We conjugated liposomes to an antibody that recognizes an extracellular domain of the oxytocin receptor. We then examined the ability of oxytocin receptor-targeted liposomes to deliver contraction-blocking (nifedipine, salbutamol and rolipram) or contraction-enhancing (dofetilide) agents to strips of spontaneously contracting myometrial tissue in vitro (human and mouse). We evaluated the ability of oxytocin receptor-targeted liposomes to localize to uterine tissue in vivo, and assessed if targeted liposomes loaded with indomethacin were capable of preventing lipopolysaccharide-induced preterm birth in mice. Oxytocin receptor-targeted liposomes loaded with nifedipine, salbutamol or rolipram consistently abolished human myometrial contractions in vitro, while oxytocin receptor-targeted liposomes loaded with dofetilide increased contraction duration. Nontargeted control liposomes loaded with these agents had no effect. Similar results were observed in mouse uterine strips. Following in vivo administration to pregnant mice, oxytocin receptor-targeted liposomes localized specifically to the uterine horns and mammary tissue. Targeting increased localization to the uterus 7-fold. Localization was not detected in the maternal brain or fetus. Targeted

  5. Polymorphism and genetic mapping of the human oxytocin receptor gene on chromosome 3

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    Michelini, S.; Urbanek, M.; Goldman, D. [National Institute of Health-National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Rockville, MD (United States)] [and others

    1995-06-19

    Centrally administered oxytocin has been reported to facilitate affiliative and social behaviors, in functional harmony with its well-known peripheral effects on uterine contraction and milk ejection. The biological effects of oxytocin could be perturbed by mutations occurring in the sequence of the oxytocin receptor gene, and it would be of interest to establish the position of this gene on the human linkage map. Therefore we identified a polymorphism at the human oxytocin receptor gene. A portion of the 3{prime} untranslated region containing a 30 bp CA repeat was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), revealing a polymorphism with two alleles occurring with frequencies of 0.77 and 0.23 in a sample of Caucasian CEPH parents (n = 70). The CA repeat polymorphism we detected was used to map the human oxytocin receptor to chromosome 3p25-3p26, in a region which contains several important genes, including loci for Von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) and renal cell carcinoma. 53 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  6. A common oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphism modulates intranasal oxytocin effects on the neural response to social cooperation in humans

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Feng, C; Lori, A; Waldman, I. D; Binder, E. B; Haroon, E; Rilling, J. K

    2015-01-01

    .... However, OT effects are often heterogeneous across individuals. Here we explore individual differences in OT effects on the neural response to social cooperation as a function of the rs53576 polymorphism of the oxytocin receptor gene ( OXTR...

  7. Oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms are associated with human directed social behavior in dogs (Canis familiaris.

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    Anna Kis

    Full Text Available The oxytocin system has a crucial role in human sociality; several results prove that polymorphisms of the oxytocin receptor gene are related to complex social behaviors in humans. Dogs' parallel evolution with humans and their adaptation to the human environment has made them a useful species to model human social interactions. Previous research indicates that dogs are eligible models for behavioral genetic research, as well. Based on these previous findings, our research investigated associations between human directed social behaviors and two newly described (-212AG, 19131AG and one known (rs8679684 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in the regulatory regions (5' and 3' UTR of the oxytocin receptor gene in German Shepherd (N = 104 and Border Collie (N = 103 dogs. Dogs' behavior traits have been estimated in a newly developed test series consisting of five episodes: Greeting by a stranger, Separation from the owner, Problem solving, Threatening approach, Hiding of the owner. Buccal samples were collected and DNA was isolated using standard protocols. SNPs in the 3' and 5' UTR regions were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction based techniques followed by subsequent electrophoresis analysis. The gene-behavior association analysis suggests that oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms have an impact in both breeds on (i proximity seeking towards an unfamiliar person, as well as their owner, and on (ii how friendly dogs behave towards strangers, although the mediating molecular regulatory mechanisms are yet unknown. Based on these results, we conclude that similarly to humans, the social behavior of dogs towards humans is influenced by the oxytocin system.

  8. A common oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphism modulates intranasal oxytocin effects on the neural response to social cooperation in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, C; Lori, A; Waldman, I D; Binder, E B; Haroon, E; Rilling, J K

    2015-09-01

    Intranasal oxytocin (OT) can modulate social-emotional functioning and related brain activity in humans. Consequently, OT has been discussed as a potential treatment for psychiatric disorders involving social behavioral deficits. However, OT effects are often heterogeneous across individuals. Here we explore individual differences in OT effects on the neural response to social cooperation as a function of the rs53576 polymorphism of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR). Previously, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which healthy men and women were randomized to treatment with intranasal OT or placebo. Afterwards, they were imaged with functional magnetic resonance imaging while playing an iterated Prisoner's Dilemma Game with same-sex partners. Within the left ventral caudate nucleus, intranasal OT treatment increased activation to reciprocated cooperation in men, but tended to decrease activation in women. Here, we show that these sex differences in OT effects are specific to individuals with the rs53576 GG genotype, and are not found for other genotypes (rs53576 AA/AG). Thus, OT may increase the reward or salience of positive social interactions for male GG homozygotes, while decreasing those processes for female GG homozygotes. These results suggest that rs53576 genotype is an important variable to consider in future investigations of the clinical efficacy of intranasal OT treatment. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  9. Oxytocin and Human Evolution.

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    Carter, C Sue

    2017-08-16

    A small, but powerful neuropeptide, oxytocin coordinates processes that are central to both human reproduction and human evolution. Also embedded in the evolution of the human nervous system are unique pathways necessary for modern human sociality and cognition. Oxytocin is necessary for facilitating the birth process, especially in light of anatomical restrictions imposed by upright human locomotion, which depends on a fixed pelvis. Oxytocin, by facilitating birth, allowed the development of a large cortex and a protective bony cranium. The complex human brain in turn permitted the continuing emergence of social sensitivity, complex thinking, and language. After birth is complete, oxytocin continues to support human development by providing direct nutrition, in the form of human milk, and emotional and intellectual support through high levels of maternal behavior and selective attachment. Oxytocin also encourages social sensitivity and reciprocal attunement, on the part of both the mother and child, which are necessary for human social behavior and for rearing an emotionally healthy human child. Oxytocin supports growth during development, resilience, and healing across the lifespan. Oxytocin dynamically moderates the autonomic nervous system, and effects of oxytocin on vagal pathways allowing high levels of oxygenation and digestion necessary to support adaptation in a complex environment. Finally, oxytocin has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, helping to explain the pervasive adaptive consequences of social behavior for emotional and physical health.

  10. The oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) localizes to human chromosome 3p25 by fluorescence in situ hybridization and PCR analysis of somatic cell hybrids

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    Simmons, C.F. Jr.; Clancy, T.E.; Quan, R. [Children`s Hospital, Boston, MA (United States)] [and others

    1995-04-10

    The human oxytocin receptor regulates parturition and myometrial contractility, breast milk let-down, and reproductive behaviors in the mammalian central nervous system. Kimura et al. recently identified a human oxytocin receptor cDNA by means of expression cloning from a human myometrial cDNA library. To elucidate further the molecular mechanisms that regulate oxytocin receptor gene expression and to define the expected Mendelian inheritance of possible human disease states, we must determine the number of genes, their localization, and their organization and structure. We summarize below our data indicating that the human oxytocin receptor gene is localized to 3p25 and exists as a single copy in the haploid genome. 9 refs., 2 figs.

  11. Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids alter oxytocin signaling and receptor density in cultured pregnant human myometrial smooth muscle cells.

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    Paul Y Kim

    Full Text Available Epidemiological studies and interventional clinical trials indicate that consumption of long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA lengthen gestational duration. Although the mechanisms are not well understood, prostaglandins (PG of the 2-series are known to play a role in the initiation and progress of labor. In animal studies, modest DHA provision has been shown to reduce placental and uterine PGE(2 and PGF(2α, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression, and placental collagenase activity. However, modulation of PG biosynthesis may not account for all the effects of LC n-3 PUFAs in labor. We investigated one potential PG-independent mechanism of LC PUFA action using cultured pregnant human myometrial smooth muscle cells. Our goal was to characterize the effect of LC PUFA treatment on oxytocin signaling, a potent uterotonic hormone involved in labor. The addition of 10 µM-100 µM DHA or arachidonic acid (AA to the culture media for 48 h resulted in dose dependent enrichment of these fatty acids in membrane lipid. DHA and AA significantly inhibited phosphatidylinositol turnover and [Ca(2+](i mobilization with oxytocin stimulation compared to bovine serum albumin control and equimolar oleic acid. DHA and AA significantly reduced oxytocin receptor membrane concentration without altering binding affinity or rate of receptor internalization. These findings demonstrate a role for LC n-3 PUFAs in regulation of oxytocin signaling and provide new insight into additional mechanisms pertaining to reports of dietary fish and fish oil consumption prolonging gestation.

  12. Oxytocin releases atrial natriuretic peptide by combining with oxytocin receptors in the heart

    OpenAIRE

    Gutkowska, Jolanta; Jankowski, Marek; Lambert, Chantal; Mukaddam-Daher, Suhayla; Zingg, Hans H.; McCann, Samuel M.

    1997-01-01

    Previous studies indicated that the central nervous system induces release of the cardiac hormone atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) by release of oxytocin from the neurohypophysis. The presence of specific transcripts for the oxytocin receptor was demonstrated in all chambers of the heart by amplification of cDNA by the PCR using specific oligonucleotide primers. Oxytocin receptor mRNA content in the heart is 10 times lower than in the uterus of female rats. Oxytocin receptor transcripts were ...

  13. The Oxytocin-Oxytocin Receptor System and Its Antagonists as Tocolytic Agents

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    Nikolaos Vrachnis

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin, a hormone involved in numerous physiologic processes, plays a central role in the mechanisms of parturition and lactation. It acts through its receptor, which belongs to the G-protein-coupled receptor superfamily, while Gq/phospholipase C (PLC/inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (InsP3 is the main pathway via which it exerts its action in the myometrium. Changes in receptor levels, receptor desensitization, and locally produced oxytocin are factors that influence the effect of oxytocin on uterine contractility in labor. Activation of oxytocin receptor causes myometrial contractions by increasing intracellular Ca+2 and production of prostaglandins. Since oxytocin induces contractions, the inhibition of its action has been a target in the management of preterm labor. Atosiban is today the only oxytocin receptor antagonist that is available as a tocolytic. However, the quest for oxytocin receptor antagonists with a better pharmacological profile has led to the synthesis of peptide and nonpeptide molecules such as barusiban, retosiban, L-368,899, and SSR-126768A. Many of these oxytocin receptor antagonists are used only as pharmacological tools, while others have tocolytic action. In this paper, we summarize the action of oxytocin and its receptor and we present an overview of the clinical and experimental data of oxytocin antagonists and their tocolytic action.

  14. Expression and localization of human oxytocin receptor mRNA and its protein in chorion and decidua during parturition.

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    Takemura, M; Kimura, T; Nomura, S; Makino, Y; Inoue, T; Kikuchi, T; Kubota, Y; Tokugawa, Y; Nobunaga, T; Kamiura, S

    1994-01-01

    Oxytocin (OT) is widely used to induce labor in the clinical setting. However, its physiological role in normal human parturition remains unclear. We demonstrated the enhanced expression of OT receptor (OTR) mRNA in chorio-decidual tissue, using the polymerase chain reaction after the reverse transcriptase reaction (RT-PCR) and Northern blot analysis. OTR gene expression in chorio-decidual tissue increased fivefold during the course of parturition. In situ hybridization of fetal membrane revealed the expression of OTR mRNA in maternally derived decidual cells. The OTR mRNA was also detected in fetally derived chorionic trophoblast cells. Immunohistochemistry, using a newly developed anti-OTR monoclonal antibody, demonstrated the distribution of OTR protein in fetal membrane. The distribution pattern of OTR protein and OTR mRNA was identical, indicating that the regulation of OTR expression occurs mainly at the transcriptional level. These results support the idea that the expression of decidual OTR regulates the initiation and amplification of labor. The implications of these findings with regard to the pathogenesis of preterm labor are also discussed. Images PMID:8200965

  15. Oxytocin pathways and the evolution of human behavior.

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    Carter, C Sue

    2014-01-01

    This review examines the hypothesis that oxytocin pathways--which include the neuropeptide oxytocin, the related peptide vasopressin, and their receptors--are at the center of physiological and genetic systems that permitted the evolution of the human nervous system and allowed the expression of contemporary human sociality. Unique actions of oxytocin, including the facilitation of birth, lactation, maternal behavior, genetic regulation of the growth of the neocortex, and the maintenance of the blood supply to the cortex, may have been necessary for encephalization. Peptide-facilitated attachment also allows the extended periods of nurture necessary for the emergence of human intellectual development. In general, oxytocin acts to allow the high levels of social sensitivity and attunement necessary for human sociality and for rearing a human child. Under optimal conditions oxytocin may create an emotional sense of safety. Oxytocin dynamically moderates the autonomic nervous system, and effects of oxytocin on vagal pathways, as well as the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of this peptide, help to explain the pervasive adaptive consequences of social behavior for emotional and physical health.

  16. Oxytocin and Estrogen Receptor β in the Brain: An Overview

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    Alexandra eAcevedo-Rodriguez

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is a neuropeptide synthesized primarily by neurons of the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus. These neurons have axons that project into the posterior pituitary and release oxytocin into the bloodstream to promote labor and lactation; however, oxytocin neurons also project to other brain areas where it plays a role in numerous brain functions. Oxytocin binds to the widely expressed oxytocin receptor, and, in doing so, it regulates homeostatic processes, social recognition and fear conditioning. In addition to these functions, oxytocin decreases neuroendocrine stress signaling and anxiety-related and depression-like behaviors. Steroid hormones differentially modulate stress responses and alter oxytocin receptor expression. In particular, estrogen receptor β activation has been found to both reduce anxiety-related behaviors and increase oxytocin peptide transcription, suggesting a role for oxytocin in this estrogen receptor β mediated anxiolytic effect. Further research is needed to identify modulators of oxytocin signaling and the pathways utilized and to elucidate molecular mechanisms controlling oxytocin expression to allow better therapeutic manipulations of this system in patient populations.

  17. Oxytocin and vasopressin: distinct receptors in myometrium

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    Guillon, G.; Balestre, M.N.; Roberts, J.M.; Bottari, S.P.

    1987-06-01

    The binding characteristics of (/sup 3/H)oxytocin (( /sup 3/H)OT) and (/sup 3/H)lysine vasopressin (( /sup 3/H)LVP) to nonpregnant human myometrium were investigated. Binding of both radioligands was saturable, time dependent, and reversible. Whereas (/sup 3/H)OT was found to bind to a single class of sites with high affinity (Kd, 1.5 +/- 0.4 (+/- SEM) nM) and low capacity (maximum binding (Bmax), 34 +/- 6 fmol/mg protein), (/sup 3/H)LVP bound to two classes of sites, one with high affinity (Kd, 2.2 +/- 0.1 nM) and low capacity (Bmax, 198 +/- 7 fmol/mg protein) and another with low affinity (Kd, 655 +/- 209 nM) and high capacity (Bmax, 5794 +/- 1616 fmol/mg protein). The binding of the labeled peptides also displayed a marked difference in sensitivity to Mg2+ and guanine nucleotides. These differences in binding characteristics as well as the differences in potency of analogs in competing for (/sup 3/H)OT and (/sup 3/H)LVP binding indicate the presence of distinct receptors for OT and vasopressin in human myometrium. Pharmacological characterization of the high affinity binding sites for (/sup 3/H)LVP indicated that these are of the V1 subtype. Although, as suggested by others, vasopressin and OT can bind to the same sites, the presence of distinct receptors for both peptides provides an explanation for the previously reported difference in myometrial responsiveness to OT and vasopressin.

  18. Oxytocin receptor gene variations predict neural and behavioral response to oxytocin in autism.

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    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Otowa, Takeshi; Abe, Osamu; Kuwabara, Hitoshi; Aoki, Yuta; Natsubori, Tatsunobu; Takao, Hidemasa; Kakiuchi, Chihiro; Kondo, Kenji; Ikeda, Masashi; Iwata, Nakao; Kasai, Kiyoto; Sasaki, Tsukasa; Yamasue, Hidenori

    2017-03-01

    Oxytocin appears beneficial for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and more than 20 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in oxytocin receptor (OXTR) are relevant to ASD. However, neither biological functions of OXTR SNPs in ASD nor critical OXTR SNPs that determine oxytocin's effects on ASD remains known. Here, using a machine-learning algorithm that was designed to evaluate collective effects of multiple SNPs and automatically identify most informative SNPs, we examined relationships between 27 representative OXTR SNPs and six types of behavioral/neural response to oxytocin in ASD individuals. The oxytocin effects were extracted from our previous placebo-controlled within-participant clinical trial administering single-dose intranasal oxytocin to 38 high-functioning adult Japanese ASD males. Consequently, we identified six different SNP sets that could accurately predict the six different oxytocin efficacies, and confirmed the robustness of these SNP selections against variations of the datasets and analysis parameters. Moreover, major alleles of several prominent OXTR SNPs-including rs53576 and rs2254298-were found to have dissociable effects on the oxytocin efficacies. These findings suggest biological functions of the OXTR SNP variants on autistic oxytocin responses, and implied that clinical oxytocin efficacy may be genetically predicted before its actual administration, which would contribute to establishment of future precision medicines for ASD. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism

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    de Dreu, C.K.W.; Greer, L.L.; van Kleef, G.A.; Shalvi, S.; Handgraaf, M.J.J.

    2011-01-01

    Human ethnocentrism—the tendency to view one's group as centrally important and superior to other groups—creates intergroup bias that fuels prejudice, xenophobia, and intergroup violence. Grounded in the idea that ethnocentrism also facilitates within-group trust, cooperation, and coordination, we

  20. Novel oxytocin receptor variants in laboring women requiring high doses of oxytocin.

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    Reinl, Erin L; Goodwin, Zane A; Raghuraman, Nandini; Lee, Grace Y; Jo, Erin Y; Gezahegn, Beakal M; Pillai, Meghan K; Cahill, Alison G; de Guzman Strong, Cristina; England, Sarah K

    2017-08-01

    Although oxytocin commonly is used to augment or induce labor, it is difficult to predict its effectiveness because oxytocin dose requirements vary significantly among women. One possibility is that women requiring high or low doses of oxytocin have variations in the oxytocin receptor gene. To identify oxytocin receptor gene variants in laboring women with low and high oxytocin dosage requirements. Term, nulliparous women requiring oxytocin doses of ≤4 mU/min (low-dose-requiring, n = 83) or ≥20 mU/min (high-dose-requiring, n = 104) for labor augmentation or induction provided consent to a postpartum blood draw as a source of genomic DNA. Targeted-amplicon sequencing (coverage >30×) with MiSeq (Illumina) was performed to discover variants in the coding exons of the oxytocin receptor gene. Baseline relevant clinical history, outcomes, demographics, and oxytocin receptor gene sequence variants and their allele frequencies were compared between low-dose-requiring and high-dose-requiring women. The Scale-Invariant Feature Transform algorithm was used to predict the effect of variants on oxytocin receptor function. The Fisher exact or χ 2 tests were used for categorical variables, and Student t tests or Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used for continuous variables. A P value oxytocin receptor gene in the total cohort (n = 187) revealed 30 distinct coding variants: 17 nonsynonymous, 11 synonymous, and 2 small structural variants. One novel variant (A243T) was found in both the low- and high-dose-requiring groups. Three novel variants (Y106H, A240_A249del, and P197delfs*206) resulting in an amino acid substitution, loss of 9 amino acids, and a frameshift stop mutation, respectively, were identified only in low-dose-requiring women. Nine nonsynonymous variants were unique to the high-dose-requiring group. These included 3 known variants (R151C, G221S, and W228C) and 6 novel variants (M133V, R150L, H173R, A248V, G253R, and I266V). Of these, R150L, R151C, and H173

  1. Functional characterization of an oxytocin receptor gene variant (rs2268498) previously associated with social cognition by expression analysis in vitro and in human brain biopsy.

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    Reuter, Martin; Montag, Christian; Altmann, Steffen; Bendlow, Fabian; Elger, Christian; Kirsch, Peter; Becker, Albert; Schoch-McGovern, Susanne; Simon, Matthias; Weber, Bernd; Felten, Andrea

    2017-10-01

    The oxytocin system plays a prominent role in social behavior across species, and numerous genetic studies in humans have reported associations between polymorphisms on the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene and phenotypes related to social cognition, affiliation, perspective taking, and sociability in healthy subjects and in patients with atypical social behavior, such as in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Recently, the first study demonstrating altered agonist-induced OXTR internalization and recycling for the exonic variant rs35062132 emerged. Beside this, there has been no further demonstration of the functionality of the OXTR variants especially there does not exist any for the regulatory units. To address this gap in the literature, we tested the functionality of the promoter flanking single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2268498, which has proven an interesting candidate for predicting social behavior in recent association studies. Results of genetic expression analyses in human hippocampal tissue showed a twofold difference in messenger RNA transcription, dependent on the presence or absence of the C-allele. This finding was corroborated by cloning, i.e., in vitro reporter gene expression analysis after transfection of OXTR promoter plasmids into HEK-293 cells. Our results underline the importance of OXTR rs2268498 for genetic research in social behavior and ASD.

  2. Oxytocin receptor gene variations predict neural and behavioral response to oxytocin in autism

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    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Otowa, Takeshi; Abe, Osamu; Kuwabara, Hitoshi; Aoki, Yuta; Natsubori, Tatsunobu; Takao, Hidemasa; Kakiuchi, Chihiro; Kondo, Kenji; Ikeda, Masashi; Iwata, Nakao; Kasai, Kiyoto; Sasaki, Tsukasa

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Oxytocin appears beneficial for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and more than 20 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in oxytocin receptor (OXTR) are relevant to ASD. However, neither biological functions of OXTR SNPs in ASD nor critical OXTR SNPs that determine oxytocin’s effects on ASD remains known. Here, using a machine-learning algorithm that was designed to evaluate collective effects of multiple SNPs and automatically identify most informative SNPs, we examined relationships between 27 representative OXTR SNPs and six types of behavioral/neural response to oxytocin in ASD individuals. The oxytocin effects were extracted from our previous placebo-controlled within-participant clinical trial administering single-dose intranasal oxytocin to 38 high-functioning adult Japanese ASD males. Consequently, we identified six different SNP sets that could accurately predict the six different oxytocin efficacies, and confirmed the robustness of these SNP selections against variations of the datasets and analysis parameters. Moreover, major alleles of several prominent OXTR SNPs—including rs53576 and rs2254298—were found to have dissociable effects on the oxytocin efficacies. These findings suggest biological functions of the OXTR SNP variants on autistic oxytocin responses, and implied that clinical oxytocin efficacy may be genetically predicted before its actual administration, which would contribute to establishment of future precision medicines for ASD. PMID:27798253

  3. Expression and activation of the oxytocin receptor in airway smooth muscle cells: Regulation by TNFα and IL-13

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    Siddiqui Salman

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During pregnancy asthma may remain stable, improve or worsen. The factors underlying the deleterious effect of pregnancy on asthma remain unknown. Oxytocin is a neurohypophyseal protein that regulates a number of central and peripheral responses such as uterine contractions and milk ejection. Additional evidence suggests that oxytocin regulates inflammatory processes in other tissues given the ubiquitous expression of the oxytocin receptor. The purpose of this study was to define the role of oxytocin in modulating human airway smooth muscle (HASMCs function in the presence and absence of IL-13 and TNFα, cytokines known to be important in asthma. Method Expression of oxytocin receptor in cultured HASMCs was performed by real time PCR and flow cytomery assays. Responses to oxytocin was assessed by fluorimetry to detect calcium signals while isolated tracheal rings and precision cut lung slices (PCLS were used to measure contractile responses. Finally, ELISA was used to compare oxytocin levels in the bronchoalveloar lavage (BAL samples from healthy subjects and those with asthma. Results PCR analysis demonstrates that OXTR is expressed in HASMCs under basal conditions and that both interleukin (IL-13 and tumor necrosis factor (TNFα stimulate a time-dependent increase in OXTR expression at 6 and 18 hr. Additionally, oxytocin increases cytosolic calcium levels in fura-2-loaded HASMCs that were enhanced in cells treated for 24 hr with IL-13. Interestingly, TNFα had little effect on oxytocin-induced calcium response despite increasing receptor expression. Using isolated murine tracheal rings and PCLS, oxytocin also promoted force generation and airway narrowing. Further, oxytocin levels are detectable in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL fluid derived from healthy subjects as well as from those with asthma. Conclusion Taken together, we show that cytokines modulate the expression of functional oxytocin receptors in HASMCs suggesting a

  4. Oxytocin stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis via oxytocin receptor expressed in CA3 pyramidal neurons.

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    Lin, Yu-Ting; Chen, Chien-Chung; Huang, Chiung-Chun; Nishimori, Katsuhiko; Hsu, Kuei-Sen

    2017-09-14

    In addition to the regulation of social and emotional behaviors, the hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin has been shown to stimulate neurogenesis in adult dentate gyrus; however, the mechanisms underlying the action of oxytocin are still unclear. Taking advantage of the conditional knockout mouse model, we show here that endogenous oxytocin signaling functions in a non-cell autonomous manner to regulate survival and maturation of newly generated dentate granule cells in adult mouse hippocampus via oxytocin receptors expressed in CA3 pyramidal neurons. Through bidirectional chemogenetic manipulations, we also uncover a significant role for CA3 pyramidal neuron activity in regulating adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. Retrograde neuronal tracing combined with immunocytochemistry revealed that the oxytocin neurons in the paraventricular nucleus project directly to the CA3 region of the hippocampus. Our findings reveal a critical role for oxytocin signaling in adult neurogenesis.Oxytocin (OXT) has been implicated in adult neurogenesis. Here the authors show that CA3 pyramidal cells in the adult mouse hippocampus express OXT receptors and receive inputs from hypothalamic OXT neurons; activation of OXT signaling in CA3 pyramidal cells promotes the survival and maturation of newborn neurons in the dentate gyrus in a non-cell autonomous manner.

  5. Plasma oxytocin concentrations following MDMA or intranasal oxytocin in humans

    OpenAIRE

    Kirkpatrick, Matthew G.; Francis, Sunday M.; Lee, Royce; de Wit, Harriet; Jacob, Suma

    2014-01-01

    MDMA (±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ‘ecstasy’) is reportedly used recreationally because it increases feelings of sociability and interpersonal closeness. Prior work suggests that the pro-social effects of MDMA may be mediated by release of oxytocin. A direct examination of plasma levels of oxytocin after acute doses of oxytocin and MDMA, in the same individuals, would provide further evidence for the idea that MDMA produces its prosocial effects by increasing oxytocin. Fourteen healthy...

  6. Specification of the cholesterol interaction with the oxytocin receptor using a chimeric receptor approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiegand, Volker; Gimpl, Gerald

    2012-02-15

    The oxytocin receptor specifically requires cholesterol to maintain and stabilize its high-affinity agonist binding. Here, we applied a receptor chimeric approach to coarsely localize the cholesterol binding domain of the oxytocin receptor. During these studies, we identified the specific dependence on cholesterol as a common property of the oxytocin-vasopressin receptor family. We asked whether the oxytocin receptor maintains or loses its cholesterol dependence when parts of the receptor are exchanged by the corresponding fragments of the cholecystokinin receptor that does not show a specific cholesterol dependence. One of the chimeric receptors revealed full oxytocin binding activity, was capable of signal transduction, and its cholesterol dependence was nearly indistinguishable from that of the oxytocin receptor itself. The data suggest that at least the C-terminal segments of the oxytocin receptor including transmembrane domains 6 and 7 do not participate in cholesterol binding. Thus, the binding sites for the modulator cholesterol and for the agonist oxytocin are therefore most likely colocalized in the N-terminal segment of the oxytocin receptor. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Human ovulation and plasma oxytocin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumaresan, Perianna; Kumaresan, Malathi; Hossini, Mahmood; Arellano, Carolina; Vasicka, Alois (State Univ. of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn (USA))

    1983-10-01

    Plasma oxytocin (OT) concentrations were measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) method without extracting plasma in 11 normal menstruating women. Mean plasma OT level began to increase steadily from the 7th day of the menstrual cycle and this level rose up to 20+-5 ..mu..U/ml (Mean+-S.E.) on the 10th day of the cycle. OT level declined to 13+-6 ..mu..U/ml on the day of the LH peak and continuously declined for another 2 days - then rose. The OT level was higher during the follicular phase than during the luteal phase. In 1 individual OT measured in 2 cycles a year apart showed the highest level of OT coincided with LH and FSH peak and abruptly declined. When there was the highest level of progesterone, the OT level was measurable 1 out of 11 cycles. From this study, we conclude that OT may have a role in human ovulation either synergistically or alone with other ovulatory mechanisms and ovarian estradiol and progesterone control the secretion of OT and also suggests that OT may play some role in the regulation of the luteolysis and the menstrual cycle in women.

  8. Molecular modeling of interactions of the non-peptide antagonist YM087 with the human vasopressin V1a, V2 receptors and with oxytocin receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giełdoń, Artur; Kaźmierkiewicz, Rajmund; Ślusarz, Rafał; Ciarkowski, Jerzy

    2001-12-01

    The nonapeptide hormones arginine vasopressin (CYFQNCPRG-NH2, AVP) and oxytocin (CYIQNCPLG-NH2, OT), control many essential functions in mammals. Their main activities include the urine concentration (via stimulation of AVP V2 receptors, V2R, in the kidneys), blood pressure regulation (via stimulation of vascular V1a AVP receptors, V1aR), ACTH control (via stimulation of V1b receptors, V1bR, in the pituitary) and labor and lactation control (via stimulation of OT receptors, OTR, in the uterus and nipples, respectively). All four receptor subtypes belong to the GTP-binding (G) protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family. This work consists of docking of YM087, a potent non-peptide V1aR and V2R - but not OTR - antagonist, into the receptor models based on relatively new theoretical templates of rhodopsin (RD) and opiate receptors, proposed by Mosberg et al. (Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA). It is simultaneously demonstrated that this RD template satisfactorily compares with the first historical GPCR structure of bovine rhodopsin (Palczewski et al., 2000) and that homology-modeling of V2R, V1aR and OTR using opiate receptors as templates is rational, based on relatively high (20-60%) sequence homology among the set of 4 neurophyseal and 4 opiate receptors. YM087 was computer-docked to V1aR, V2R and OTR using the AutoDock (Olson et al., Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA) and subsequently relaxed using restrained simulated annealing and molecular dynamics, as implemented in AMBER program (Kollman et al., University of California, San Francisco, USA). From about 80 diverse configurations, sampled for each of the three ligand/receptor systems, 3 best energy-relaxed complexes were selected for mutual comparisons. Similar docking modes were found for the YM087/V1aR and YM087/V2R complexes, diverse from those of the YM087/OTR complexes, in agreement with the molecular affinity data.

  9. Involvement of cholecystokinin receptor types in pathways controlling oxytocin secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luckman, S. M.; Hamamura, M.; Antonijevic, I.; Dye, S.; Leng, G.

    1993-01-01

    1. Intravenous administration of cholecystokinin (CCK) results in a transient activation of oxytocin neurones in the rat, and hence to oxytocin secretion: this activation is followed by expression of c-fos mRNA and of Fos-like immunoreactivity (Fos-LI) in magnocellular oxytocin neurones. Fos-like immunoreactivity is also induced in the regions of the brainstem that are thought to relay information from the periphery to the hypothalamus. 2. Administration of the selective CCKA receptor antagonist MK-329, but not the CCKB receptor antagonist L-365,260, prior to CCK injection, prevented oxytocin release as measured by radioimmunoassay and oxytocin neuronal activation as measured by electrophysiology and by the lack of induction of c-fos mRNA. 3. MK-329 abolished the release of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) following injection of CCK. 4. MK-329 prevented the expression of Fos-LI in the hypothalamic magnocellular nuclei and in the area postrema and dorsal vagal complex of the brainstem. 5. L-365,260 had no effect on the expression of Fos-LI in the brainstem, but attenuated that seen in the hypothalamic magnocellular nuclei. 6. We conclude that CCK acts on CCKA receptors, either in the area postrema or on peripheral endings of the vagus nerve, to cause the release of hypothalamic oxytocin and ACTH. Information may be carried to the hypothalamus in part by CCK acting at CCKB receptors. Images Figure 4 PMID:8220899

  10. Distribution of MT1 melatonin receptor immunoreactivity in the human hypothalamus and pituitary gland: colocalization of MT1 with vasopressin, oxytocin, and corticotropin-releasing hormone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ying-Hui; Zhou, Jiang-Ning; Balesar, Rawien; Unmehopa, Unga; Bao, Aimin; Jockers, Ralf; Van Heerikhuize, Joop; Swaab, Dick F

    2006-12-20

    Melatonin is implicated in numerous physiological processes, including circadian rhythms, stress, and reproduction, many of which are mediated by the hypothalamus and pituitary. The physiological actions of melatonin are mainly mediated by melatonin receptors. We here describe the distribution of the melatonin receptor MT1 in the human hypothalamus and pituitary by immunocytochemistry. MT1 immunoreactivity showed a widespread pattern in the hypothalamus. In addition to the area of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a number of novel sites, including the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), periventricular nucleus, supraoptic nucleus (SON), sexually dimorphic nucleus, the diagonal band of Broca, the nucleus basalis of Meynert, infundibular nucleus, ventromedial and dorsomedial nucleus, tuberomamillary nucleus, mamillary body, and paraventricular thalamic nucleus were observed to have neuronal MT1 receptor expression. No staining was observed in the nucleus tuberalis lateralis and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. The MT1 receptor was colocalized with some vasopressin (AVP) neurons in the SCN, colocalized with some parvocellular and magnocellular AVP and oxytocine (OXT) neurons in the PVN and SON, and colocalized with some parvocellular corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons in the PVN. In the pituitary, strong MT1 expression was observed in the pars tuberalis, while a weak staining was found in the posterior and anterior pituitary. These findings provide a neurobiological basis for the participation of melatonin in the regulation of various hypothalamic and pituitary functions. The colocalization of MT1 and CRH suggests that melatonin might directly modulate the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in the PVN, which may have implications for stress conditions such as depression.

  11. Oxytocin receptor blockade: a new principle in the treatment of preterm labor?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, L F; Lyndrup, J; Akerlund, M

    1989-01-01

    The concentration of myometrial and decidual oxytocin receptors increases dramatically in normal women in late pregnancy, causing enhanced uterine sensitivity to physiologic levels of oxytocin. Similar increase in myometrial oxytocin receptors has been found in women in preterm labor, indicating...... a role for oxytocin also in idiopathic preterm labor. A newly synthesized oxytocin analogue, 1-deamino-2-D-Tyr-(OEt)-4-Thr-8-Orn-oxytocin, has been found to be a competitive inhibitor of oxytocin. The present study was conducted to test its efficacy in suppressing uterine contractions during preterm...... of the patients. These preliminary findings support the concept that an increased concentration of uterine oxytocin receptors is an important etiologic factor in uncomplicated preterm labor and therefore oxytocin receptor blockade may be a therapeutic alternative for this condition....

  12. Genetic Imaging of the Association of Oxytocin Receptor Gene (OXTR Polymorphisms with Positive Maternal Parenting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalina J. Michalska

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Well-validated models of maternal behavior in small-brain mammals posit a central role of oxytocin in parenting, by reducing stress and enhancing the reward value of social interactions with offspring. In contrast, human studies are only beginning to gain insights into how oxytocin modulates maternal behavior and affiliation. Methods: To explore associations between oxytocin receptor genes and maternal parenting behavior in humans, we conducted a genetic imaging study of women selected to exhibit a wide range of observed parenting when their children were 4-6 years old. Results: In response to child stimuli during functional magnetic resonance imaging, hemodynamic responses in brain regions that mediate affect, reward, and social behavior were significantly correlated with observed positive parenting. Furthermore, single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs53576 and rs1042778 in the gene encoding the oxytocin receptor were significantly associated with both positive parenting and hemodynamic responses to child stimuli in orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus. Conclusions: These findings contribute to the emerging literature on the role of oxytocin in human social behavior and support the feasibility of tracing biological pathways from genes to neural regions to positive maternal parenting behaviors in humans using genetic imaging methods.

  13. Oxytocin, testosterone, and human social cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespi, Bernard J

    2016-05-01

    I describe an integrative social-evolutionary model for the adaptive significance of the human oxytocinergic system. The model is based on a role for this hormone in the generation and maintenance of social familiarity and affiliation across five homologous, functionally similar, and sequentially co-opted contexts: mothers with offspring, female and male mates, kin groups, individuals with reciprocity partners, and individuals within cooperating and competing social groups defined by culture. In each situation, oxytocin motivates, mediates and rewards the cognitive and behavioural processes that underlie the formation and dynamics of a more or less stable social group, and promotes a relationship between two or more individuals. Such relationships may be positive (eliciting neurological reward, reducing anxiety and thus indicating fitness-enhancing effects), or negative (increasing anxiety and distress, and thus motivating attempts to alleviate a problematic, fitness-reducing social situation). I also present evidence that testosterone exhibits opposite effects from oxytocin on diverse aspects of cognition and behaviour, most generally by favouring self-oriented, asocial and antisocial behaviours. I apply this model for effects of oxytocin and testosterone to understanding human psychological disorders centrally involving social behaviour. Reduced oxytocin and higher testosterone levels have been associated with under-developed social cognition, especially in autism. By contrast, some combination of oxytocin increased above normal levels, and lower testosterone, has been reported in a notable number of studies of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, and, in some cases, higher oxytocin involves maladaptively 'hyper-developed' social cognition in these conditions. This pattern of findings suggests that human social cognition and behaviour are structured, in part, by joint and opposing effects of oxytocin and testosterone, and that extremes of such joint

  14. Intermittent drinking, oxytocin and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruimboom, L; Reheis, D

    2016-07-01

    Looking at a waterhole, it is surprising that so many animals share the same space without visible signs of anxiety or aggression. Although waterholes are the preferred feeding locations of large carnivores, waterholes are shared by all type of herbivores of all sizes and shapes, including elephants. Recent research shows that the homeostatic disturbances leading to the "thirst feeling" not only activate specific substances regulating water and mineral household, but also the "trust and love" hormone oxytocin, while decreasing the production of the typical stress hormone cortisol. People using drugs, seem to be in search for oxytocin, as evidenced in studies with individuals on drugs such as ecstasy and gamma-hydroxybyturate. Hot environment, drought and increased sweating also activate specific oxytocin-producing parts of the hypothalamus, just as breastfeeding does in mother and infant. Water homeostasis is the only allostatic system activating trust neuro-anatomy and we suggest that this is due to the fact that all animals depend on water, whereas food type is species specific. Our hypothesis; regulating drinking behaviour through intermittent bulk drinking could increase oxytocin signalling, recover human trust and increase health by down-regulation of stress axis activity and inflammatory activity of the immune system. Intermittent bulk drinking should be defined as water (including tea and coffee) drinking up to a feeling of satiety and regulated by a mild feeling of thirst. This would mean that people would not drink less quantity but less frequently and that's how all animals, but also human newborns behave. It is the latter group, which is probably the only group of humans with a normal fluid homeostasis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The Contractile Effects of Oxytocin, Ergonovine, and Carboprost and Their Combinations: an In Vitro Study on Human Myometrial Strips.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balki, Mrinalini; Erik-Soussi, Magda; Ramachandran, Nivetha; Kingdom, John; Carvalho, Jose C A

    2015-05-01

    in oxytocin-pretreated myometrial strips is in keeping with the previously established oxytocin-receptor desensitization phenomenon. Oxytocin is the most effective of the uterotonics tested if the myometrium is not preexposed to oxytocin. However, in the oxytocin-pretreated myometrium, a synergistic response is evident, and the combination of oxytocin with either ergonovine or carboprost produces superior response compared with oxytocin alone. Further in vivo studies in humans are necessary to determine whether these differences identified in vitro are clinically significant.

  16. Human Neuroimaging of Oxytocin and Vasopressin in Social Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zink, Caroline F; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin have increasingly been identified as modulators of human social behaviors and associated with neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by social dysfunction, such as autism. Identifying the human brain regions that are impacted by oxytocin and vasopressin in a social context is essential to fully characterize the role of oxytocin and vasopressin in complex human social cognition. Advances in human non-invasive neuroimaging techniques and genetics have enabled scientists to begin to elucidate the neurobiological basis of the influence of oxytocin and vasopressin on human social behaviors. Here we review the findings to-date from investigations of the acute and chronic effects of oxytocin and vasopressin on neural activity underlying social cognitive processes using “pharmacological fMRI” and “imaging genetics”, respectively. PMID:22326707

  17. The oxytocin receptor gene and social perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melchers, Martin; Montag, Christian; Felten, Andrea; Reuter, Martin

    2015-08-01

    Social perception is an important prerequisite for successful social interaction, because it helps to gain information about behaviors, thoughts, and feelings of interaction partners. Previous pharmacological studies have emphasized the relevance of the oxytocin system for social perception abilities, while knowledge on genetic contributions is still scarce. In the endeavor to fill this gap in the literature, the current study searches for associations between participants' social perception abilities as measured by the interpersonal perception task (IPT) and the rs2268498 polymorphism on the OXTR-gene, which has repeatedly been linked to processes relevant to social functioning. N = 105 healthy participants were experimentally tested with the IPT and genotyped for the rs2268498 polymorphism. T-allele carriers (TT and TC genotypes) exhibited significantly better performance in the IPT than carriers of the CC-genotype. This difference was also significant for the subscales measuring the strength of social bonding (kinship and intimacy). As in previous studies, T-allele carriers exhibited better performance in measures of social processing indicating that the rs2268498 polymorphism is an important candidate for understanding the genetic basis of social functioning.

  18. Intranasal administration of oxytocin increases human aggressive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ne'eman, R; Perach-Barzilay, N; Fischer-Shofty, M; Atias, A; Shamay-Tsoory, S G

    2016-04-01

    Considering its role in prosocial behaviors, oxytocin (OT) has been suggested to diminish levels of aggression. Nevertheless, recent findings indicate that oxytocin may have a broader influence on increasing the salience of social stimuli and may therefore, under certain circumstances, increase antisocial behaviors such as aggression. This controversy led to the following speculations: If indeed oxytocin promotes primarily prosocial behavior, administration of OT is expected to diminish levels of aggression. However, if oxytocin mainly acts to increase the salience of social stimuli, it is expected to elevate levels of aggression following provocation. In order to test this assumption we used the Social Orientation Paradigm (SOP), a monetary game played against a fictitious partner that allows measuring three types of responses in the context of provocation: an aggressive response - reducing a point from the fictitious partner, an individualistic response - adding a point to oneself, and a collaborative response - adding half a point to the partner and half a point to oneself. In the current double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject study design, 45 participants completed the SOP task following the administration of oxytocin or placebo. The results indicated that among subjects naïve to the procedure oxytocin increased aggressive responses in comparison with placebo. These results support the saliency hypothesis of oxytocin and suggest that oxytocin plays a complex role in the modulation of human behavior. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Oxytocin and social functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Candace; Barrera, Ingrid; Brothers, Shaun; Ring, Robert; Wahlestedt, Claes

    2017-06-01

    Social anxiety is a form of anxiety characterized by continuous fear of one or more social or performance situations. Although multiple treatment modalities (cognitive behavioral therapy, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors/selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines) exist for social anxiety, they are effective for only 60% to 70% of patients. Thus, researchers have looked for other candidates for social anxiety treatment. Our review focuses on the peptide oxytocin as a potential therapeutic option for individuals with social anxiety. Animal research both in nonprimates and primates supports oxytocin's role in facilitation of prosocial behaviors and its anxiolytic effects. Human studies indicate significant associations between social anxiety and oxytocin receptor gene alleles, as well as social anxiety and oxytocin plasma levels. In addition, intranasal administration of oxytocin in humans has favorable effects on social anxiety symptomology. Other disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, and anorexia, have components of social anxiety in their pathophysiology. The therapeutic role of oxytocin for social dysfunction in these disorders is discussed.

  20. Associations between Vocal Symptoms and Genetic Variants in the Oxytocin Receptor and Arginine Vasopressin 1A Receptor Gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jämsen, Sofia Holmqvist; Johansson, Ada; Westberg, Lars; Santtila, Pekka; von der Pahlen, Bettina; Simberg, Susanna

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Oxytocin and arginine vasopressin are associated with different aspects of the stress response. As stress is regarded as a risk factor for vocal symptoms, we wanted to explore the association between the oxytocin receptor gene ("OXTR") and arginine vasopressin 1A receptor gene ("AVPR1A") single-nucleotide polymorphisms…

  1. Oxytocin and its receptors are synthesized in the rat vasculature

    OpenAIRE

    Jankowski, Marek; Wang, Donghao; Hajjar, Fadi; Mukaddam-Daher, Suhayla; McCann, Samuel M.; Gutkowska, Jolanta

    2000-01-01

    Produced and released by the heart, oxytocin (OT) acts on its cardiac receptors to decrease the cardiac rate and force of contraction. We hypothesized that it might also be produced in the vasculature and regulate vascular tone. Consequently, we prepared acid extracts of the pulmonary artery and vena cava of male rats. OT concentrations in dog and sheep aortae were equivalent to those of rat aorta (2745 ± 180 pg/mg protein), indicating that it is present in the vasculature of several mammalia...

  2. Correlation between oxytocin neuronal sensitivity and oxytocin receptor binding: An electrophysiological and autoradiographical study comparing rat and guinea pig hippocampus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raggenbass, M.; Tribollet, E.; Dubois-Dauphin, M.; Dreifuss, J.J. (Univ. Medical Center, Geneva (Switzerland))

    1989-01-01

    In transverse hippocampal slices from rat and guinea pig brains, the authors obtained unitary extracellular recordings from nonpyramidal neurones located in or near the stratum pyramidale in the CA1 field and in the transition region between the CA1 and the subiculum. In rats, these neurones responded to oxytocin at 50-1,000 nM by a reversible increase in firing rate. The oxytocin-induced excitation was suppressed by a synthetic structural analogue that acts as a potent, selective antioxytocic on peripheral receptors. Nonpyramidal neurones were also excited by carbachol at 0.5-10 {mu}M. The effect of this compound was postsynaptic and was blocked by the muscarinic antagonist atropine. In guinea pigs, by contrast, nonpyramidal neurones were unaffected by oxytocin, although they were excited by carbachol. Light microscopic autoradiography, carried out using a radioiodinated selective antioxytocic as a ligand, revealed labeling in the subiculum and in the CA1 area of the hippocampus of rats, whereas no oxytocin-binding sites were detected in the hippocampus of guinea pigs. The results indicate (i) that a hippocampal action of oxytocin is species-dependent and (ii) that a positive correlation exists between neuronal responsiveness to oxytocin and the presence in the hippocampus of high-affinity binding sites for this peptide.

  3. Oxytocin receptor dynamics in the brain across development and species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaidyanathan, Radhika; Hammock, Elizabeth A D

    2017-02-01

    Oxytocin (OXT) signaling through the OXT receptor plays a significant role in a variety of physiological processes throughout the lifespan. OXT's effects depend on the tissue distribution of the receptor. This tissue specificity is dynamic and changes across development, and also varies with sex, experience, and species. The purpose of this review is to highlight these themes with examples from several life stages and several species. Important knowledge gaps will also be emphasized. Understanding the effective sites of action for OXT via its receptor will help refine hypotheses about the roles of this important neuropeptide in the experience-dependent development and expression of species-typical social behavior. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 143-157, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Oxytocin and Vasopressin: Linking Pituitary Neuropeptides and their Receptors to Social Neurocircuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle Andrea Baribeau

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin and vasopressin are pituitary neuropeptides that have been shown to affect social processes in mammals. There is growing interest in these molecules and their receptors as potential precipitants of, and/or treatments for, social deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder. Numerous behavioral-genetic studies suggest that there is an association between these peptides and individual social abilities; however, an explanatory model that links hormonal activity at the receptor level to complex human behavior remains elusive. The following review summarizes the known associations between the oxytocin and vasopressin neuropeptide systems and social neurocircuits in the brain. Following a micro- to macro- level trajectory, current literature on the synthesis and secretion of these peptides, and the structure, function and distribution of their respective receptors is first surveyed. Next, current models regarding the mechanism of action of these peptides on microcircuitry and other neurotransmitter systems are discussed. Functional neuroimaging evidence on the acute effects of exogenous administration of these peptides on brain activity is then reviewed. Overall, a model in which the local neuromodulatory effects of pituitary neuropeptides on brainstem and basal forebrain regions strengthen signaling within social neurocircuits proves appealing. However, these findings are derived from animal models; more research is needed to clarify the relevance of these mechanisms to human behavior and treatment of social deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders.

  5. Interaction of 5-HTTLPR and a variation on the oxytocin receptor gene influences negative emotionality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Montag, C.; Fiebach, C.J.; Kirsch, P.; Reuter, M.

    2011-01-01

    Background Pharmacological studies indicate a functional interaction between the serotonergic and oxytocinergic system. Methods This study tested for an interaction of the prominent serotonin transporter polymorphism (SLC6A4) and an oxytocin receptor gene variation on individual differences in

  6. DNA methylation of specific CpG sites in the promoter region regulates the transcription of the mouse oxytocin receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shimrat Mamrut

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is a peptide hormone, well known for its role in labor and suckling, and most recently for its involvement in mammalian social behavior. All central and peripheral actions of oxytocin are mediated through the oxytocin receptor, which is the product of a single gene. Transcription of the oxytocin receptor is subject to regulation by gonadal steroid hormones, and is profoundly elevated in the uterus and mammary glands during parturition. DNA methylation is a major epigenetic mechanism that regulates gene transcription, and has been linked to reduced expression of the oxytocin receptor in individuals with autism. Here, we hypothesized that transcription of the mouse oxytocin receptor is regulated by DNA methylation of specific sites in its promoter, in a tissue-specific manner. Hypothalamus-derived GT1-7, and mammary-derived 4T1 murine cell lines displayed negative correlations between oxytocin receptor transcription and methylation of the gene promoter, and demethylation caused a significant enhancement of oxytocin receptor transcription in 4T1 cells. Using a reporter gene assay, we showed that methylation of specific sites in the gene promoter, including an estrogen response element, significantly inhibits transcription. Furthermore, methylation of the oxytocin receptor promoter was found to be differentially correlated with oxytocin receptor expression in mammary glands and the uterus of virgin and post-partum mice, suggesting that it plays a distinct role in oxytocin receptor transcription among tissues and under different physiological conditions. Together, these results support the hypothesis that the expression of the mouse oxytocin receptor gene is epigenetically regulated by DNA methylation of its promoter.

  7. Non-peptide oxytocin receptor ligands and hamster circadian wheel running rhythms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gannon, Robert L

    2014-10-17

    The synchronization of circadian rhythms in sleep, endocrine and metabolic functions with the environmental light cycle is essential for health, and dysfunction of this synchrony is thought to play a part in the development of many neurological disorders. There is a demonstrable need to develop new therapeutics for the treatment of neurological disorders such as depression and schizophrenia, and oxytocin is currently being investigated for this purpose. There are no published reports describing activity of oxytocin receptor ligands on mammalian circadian rhythms and that, then, is the purpose of this study. Non-peptide oxytocin receptor ligands that cross the blood brain barrier were systemically injected in hamsters to determine their ability to modulate light-induced phase advances and delays of circadian wheel running rhythms. The oxytocin receptor agonist WAY267464 (10 mg/kg) inhibited light induced phase advances of wheel running rhythms by 55%, but had no effect on light-induced phase delays. In contrast, the oxytocin receptor antagonist WAY162720 (10 mg/kg) inhibited light-induced phase delays by nearly 75%, but had no effect on light-induced phase advances. Additionally, WAY162720 was able to antagonize the inhibitory effects of WAY267464 on light-induced phase advances. These results are consistent for a role of oxytocin in the phase-delaying effects of light on circadian activity rhythms early in the night. Therefore, oxytocin may prove to be useful in developing therapeutics for the treatment of mood disorders with a concomitant dysfunction in circadian rhythms. Investigators should also be cognizant that oxytocin ligands may negatively affect circadian rhythms during clinical trials for other conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Role of the Oxytocin Receptor Expressed in the Rostral Medullary Raphe in Thermoregulation During Cold Conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Kasahara, Yoshiyuki; Tateishi, Yuko; Hiraoka, Yuichi; Otsuka, Ayano; Mizukami, Hiroaki; Ozawa, Keiya; Sato, Keisuke; Hidema, Shizu; Nishimori, Katsuhiko

    2015-01-01

    Recent papers have reported that oxytocin (Oxt) and the oxytocin receptor (Oxtr) may be involved in the regulation of food intake in mammals. We therefore suspected the Oxt/Oxtr system to be involved in energy homeostasis. In previous studies, we found a tendency toward obesity in Oxtr-deficient (Oxtr ?/?) mice, as well as impaired thermoregulation when these mice were exposed to cold conditions. In the present study, we observed the expression of Oxtr in the rostral medullary raphe (RMR), th...

  9. Local oxytocin expression and oxytocin receptor binding in the male rat brain is associated with aggressiveness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calcagnoli, Federica; de Boer, Sietse F.; Beiderbeck, Daniela I.; Althaus, Monika; Koolhaas, Jaap M.; Neumann, Inga D.

    2014-01-01

    We recently demonstrated in male wild-type Groningen rats that enhancing brain oxytocin (OXT) levels acutely produces marked pro-social explorative and anti-aggressive effects. Moreover, these pharmacologically-induced changes are moderated by the individual's aggressive phenotype, suggesting an

  10. Context and Individual Characteristics Modulate the Association between Oxytocin Receptor Gene Polymorphism and Social Behavior in Border Collies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borbála Turcsán

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies suggest that the relationship between endogenous oxytocin and social affiliative behavior can be critically moderated by contextual and individual factors in humans. While oxytocin has been shown to influence human-directed affiliative behaviors in dogs, no study investigated yet how such factors moderate these effects. Our study aimed to investigate whether the context and the dogs’ individual characteristics moderate the associations between the social affiliative (greeting behavior and four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene. We recorded the greeting behavior in three contexts: (1 when the dog first met an unfamiliar experimenter, (2 during a separation from the owner, and (3 after the experimenter approached the dog in a threatening manner. In the latter two contexts (during separation and after threatening, we categorized the dogs into stressed and non-stressed groups based on their behavior in the preceding situations. In line with previous studies, we found that polymorphisms in the OXTR gene are related to the greeting behavior of dogs. However, we also showed that the analyzed SNPs were associated with greeting in different contexts and in different individuals, suggesting that the four SNPs might be related to different functions of the oxytocin system. The -213A/G was associated with greeting only when the dog had no prior negative experience with the experimenter. The rs8679682 was found in association with greeting in all three contexts but these associations were significant only in non-stressed dogs. The -94T/C was associated with greeting only when the dog was stressed and had an interaction with the sex of the dog. The -74C/G SNP was associated with greeting only when the dog was stressed during separation and also had a sex interaction. Taken together, our results suggest that, similarly to humans, the effects of oxytocin on the dogs’ social behavior are not universal

  11. Oxytocin and vasopressin receptor gene polymorphisms: role in social and psychiatric traits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio eAspé Sánchez

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin (OXT and arginine-vasopressin (AVP are two phylogenetically conserved neuropeptides that have been implicated in a wide range of social behaviors. Although a large body of research, ranging from rodents to humans, has reported on the effects of OXT and AVP administration on affiliative and trust behaviors, and has highlighted the genetic contributions of OXT and AVP receptor polymorphisms to both social behaviors and to diseases related to social deficits, the consequences of peptide administration on psychiatric symptoms, and the impact of receptor polymorphisms on receptor function, are still unclear. Despite the exciting advances that these reports have brought to social neuroscience, they remain preliminary and suffer from the problems that are inherent to monogenetic linkage and association studies. As an alternative, some studies are using polygenic approaches, and consider the contributions of other genes and pathways, including those involving DA, 5-HT, and reelin, in addition to OXT and AVP; a handful of report are also using genome-wide association studies.This review summarizes findings on the associations between OXT and AVP receptor polymorphism, social behavior, and psychiatric diseases. In addition, we discuss reports on the interactions of OXT and AVP receptor genes and genes involved in other pathways (like those

  12. The peptide that binds: a systematic review of oxytocin and its prosocial effects in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macdonald, Kai; Macdonald, Tina Marie

    2010-01-01

    Oxytocin is a neuropeptide involved in a wide variety of social behaviors in diverse species. Recent research on its effects in humans has generated an arresting picture of its role in the dynamic function of the social brain. This review presents a broad overview of this uniquely social peptide, with a particular focus on extant studies of its effects in humans. After a short discussion of the evolutionary history of the oxytocin system, critical aspects of its peripheral and central physiology, and several salient technical issues surrounding human oxytocin research, a systematic review of studies of the effects of intranasal oxytocin in humans is presented. These effects include alterations in social decision making, processing of social stimuli, certain uniquely social behaviors (e.g., eye contact), and social memory. Oxytocin's prosocial influence is then framed by an evolutionary perspective on its role in mammalian social bonding and attachment. Finally, limitations in current human oxytocin research and oxytocin's potential therapeutic applications are discussed. Key conclusions are (1) human research with intranasal oxytocin has uniquely enhanced our understanding of the microstructure and function of the human social brain, and (2) the oxytocin system is a promising target for therapeutic interventions in a variety of conditions, especially those characterized by anxiety and aberrations in social function.

  13. Involvement of histaminergic and noradrenergic receptors in the oxytocin-induced food intake in neonatal meat-type chicks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirnaghizadeh, Seyed Vahid; Zendehdel, Morteza; Babapour, Vahab

    2017-03-01

    Oxytocin neurons have a physiological role in food intake and energy balance. Several studies have shown that central histaminergic and adrenergic systems synapse on oxytocin neurons but there is no information for their interaction on food intake regulation in birds. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of α-fluoromethylhistidine (α-FMH, histidine decarboxylase inhibitor), chlorpheniramine (histamine H1 receptors antagonist), famotidine (histamine H2 receptors antagonist), thioperamide (histamine H3 receptors antagonist), prazosin (α1 receptor antagonist), yohimbine (α2 receptor antagonist), metoprolol (β1 adrenergic receptor antagonist), ICI 118,551 (β2 adrenergic receptor antagonist) and SR59230R (β3 adrenergic receptor antagonist) on oxytocin-induced hypophagia in 3-h food-deprived (FD 3 ) neonatal broiler chicken. In Experiment 1, 3 h-fasted chicks were given an ICV injection of saline, α-FMH (250 nmol), oxytocin (10 μg) and co-injection of α-FMH + oxytocin. Experiments 2-9 were similar to experiment 1 except birds were injected with chlorpheniramine (300 nmol), famotidine (82 nmol), thioperamide (300 nmol), prazosin (10 nmol), yohimbine (13 nmol), metoprolol (24 nmol), ICI 118,551(5 nmol) and SR59230R (20 nmol) instead of α-FMH, respectively. After injection cumulative food intake was measured until 120 min post injection. According to the results, ICV injection of oxytocin significantly decreased food intake in broiler chickens (P oxytocin (P oxytocin significantly decreased the effect of oxytocin on food intake (P oxytocin significantly amplified hypophagic effect of oxytocin in chickens (P oxytocin (P oxytocin- induced food intake in FD3 broiler chickens. These results suggest that the effect of oxytocin on food intake is probably mediated by histaminergic (via H1 and H3 receptors) and noradrenergic (via β2 receptors) systems in broiler chickens.

  14. Distribution of MT1 melatonin receptor immunoreactivity in the human hypothalamus and pituitary gland: colocalization of MT1 with vasopressin, oxytocin, and corticotropin-releasing hormone.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wu, Y.-H.; Zhou, J.-N.; Balesar, R.; Unmehopa, U.; Bao, A.; Jockers, R.; Heerikhuize, J.; Swaab, D.F.

    2006-01-01

    Melatonin is implicated in numerous physiological processes, including circadian rhythms, stress, and reproduction, many of which are mediated by the hypothalamus and pituitary. The physiological actions of melatonin are mainly mediated by melatonin receptors. We here describe the distribution of

  15. No evidence that MDMA-induced enhancement of emotional empathy is related to peripheral oxytocin levels or 5-HT1a receptor activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim P C Kuypers

    Full Text Available The present study aimed at investigating the effect of MDMA on measures of empathy and social interaction, and the roles of oxytocin and the 5-HT1A receptor in these effects. The design was placebo-controlled within-subject with 4 treatment conditions: MDMA (75 mg, with or without pindolol (20 mg, oxytocin nasal spray (40 IU+16 IU or placebo. Participants were 20 healthy poly-drug MDMA users, aged between 18-26 years. Cognitive and emotional empathy were assessed by means of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test and the Multifaceted Empathy Test. Social interaction, defined as trust and reciprocity, was assessed by means of a Trust Game and a Social Ball Tossing Game. Results showed that MDMA selectively affected emotional empathy and left cognitive empathy, trust and reciprocity unaffected. When combined with pindolol, these effects remained unchanged. Oxytocin did not affect measures of empathy and social interaction. Changes in emotional empathy were not related to oxytocin plasma levels. It was concluded that MDMA (75 mg selectively enhances emotional empathy in humans. While the underlying neurobiological mechanism is still unknown, it is suggested that peripheral oxytocin does not seem to be the main actor in this; potential candidates are the serotonin 2A and the vasopressin 1A receptors. Trial registration: MDMA & PSB NTR 2636.

  16. The role of oxytocin in mother-infant relations: a systematic review of human studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbally, Megan; Lewis, Andrew James; Ijzendoorn, Marinus van; Permezel, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Oxytocin is associated with the establishment and quality of maternal behavior in animal models. Parallel investigations in humans are now under way. This article reviews the current research examining the role of oxytocin in mother-infant relations, attachment, and bonding in humans. A systematic search was made of three electronic databases and other bibliographic sources for published research studies that examined oxytocin and mother-infant relations in humans, including attachment, maternal behavior, parenting, and mother-infant relations. Eight studies were identified, all of which were unique in their methodologies, populations studied, and measures used. Seven studies found significant and strong associations between levels or patterns of oxytocin and aspects of mother-infant relations or attachment. Oxytocin appears to be of crucial importance for understanding mother-infant relationships. The findings of this review suggest that the pioneering, but preliminary, research undertaken to date is promising and that replication with larger samples is needed. Research that draws on more robust measures of attachment and bonding, as well as improved measures of oxytocin that include both central and peripheral levels, will elucidate the role of oxytocin in human mother-infant relationships. As the production of oxytocin is by no means restricted to mothers, the extension of the oxytocin studies to fathering, as well as to alloparental caregiving, would be an intriguing next step.

  17. Cloning and identification of an oxytocin/vasopressin-like receptor and its ligand from insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stafflinger, Elisabeth; Hansen, Karina K; Hauser, Frank

    2008-01-01

    to the locust peptide, which we named inotocin (for insect oxytocin/vasopressin-like peptide) and a gene coding for an inotocin G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). We cloned the Tribolium inotocin preprohormone and the inotocin GPCR and expressed the GPCR in CHO cells. This GPCR is strongly activated by low...

  18. Evidence for the involvement of genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) in the etiology of autistic disorders on high-functioning level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wermter, Anne-Kathrin; Kamp-Becker, Inge; Hesse, Philipp; Schulte-Körne, Gerd; Strauch, Konstantin; Remschmidt, Helmut

    2010-03-05

    An increasing number of animal studies advert to a substantial role of the neuropeptide oxytocin in the regulation of social attachment and affiliation. Furthermore, animal studies showed anxiety and stress-reduced effects of oxytocin. First human studies confirm these findings in animal studies and implicate a crucial role of oxytocin in human social attachment behavior and in social interactions. Thus, the oxytocin system might be involved in the impairment of social interaction and attachment in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The human oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) represents a plausible candidate gene for the etiology of ASD. To analyze whether genetic variants in the OXTR gene are associated with ASD we performed family-based single-marker and haplotype association analyses with 22 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the OXTR and its 5' region in 100 families with autistic disorders on high-functioning level (Asperger syndrome (AS), high-functioning autism (HFA), and atypical autism (AA)). Single-marker and haplotype association analyses revealed nominally significant associations of one single SNP and one haplotype with autism, respectively. Furthermore, employing a "reverse phenotyping" approach, patients carrying the haplotype associated with autism showed nominally significant impairments in comparison to noncarriers of the haplotype in items of the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised algorithm describing aspects of social interaction and communication. In conclusion, our results implicate that genetic variation in the OXTR gene might be relevant in the etiology of autism on high-functioning level. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Microsatellite Polymorphisms Adjacent to the Oxytocin Receptor Gene in Domestic Cats: Association with Personality?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minori Arahori

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A growing number of studies have explored the oxytocin system in humans and non-human animals, and some have found important genetic polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR associated with the bonding system, social behaviors, and personality in several species. Although single nucleotide polymorphisms in OXTR have been well-examined in various species, microsatellites (or short tandem repeats adjacent to OXTR have rarely been studied, despite some suggestions that microsatellite polymorphisms near genes might play a role in genetic transcription and translation. In this study, we surveyed microsatellites in the upstream, intron, and downstream regions of OXTR in domestic cats (Felis catus. We succeeded in amplifying 5 out of 10 regions, and recognized these five regions as polymorphic. We compared allele frequencies in these five regions between mongrel cats in Japan (n = 100 and cats of 10 pure breeds (n = 40. There were significant differences in allele frequencies between the two populations in all microsatellite regions. Additionally, the owners of mongrel cats answered a comprehensive personality questionnaire, and factor analysis extracted four factors (Openness, Friendliness, Roughness, and Neuroticism. We examined the association between the microsatellite genotypes, age, sex, neutering status, and personality scores. Compared to their counterparts, younger cats tended to score higher on Openness, male cats scored higher on Friendliness, and female and neutered cats scored higher on Roughness. When we divided the sample into three groups depending on the length of alleles, we found a marginally significant association between Friendliness and MS3. Additionally, we found a sex-mediated effect of genotypes in MS4 on Friendliness, resulting in different effects on females and males. Our findings that mongrel cats had longer alleles in MS3 and MS4 than purebred cats, and that those cats tended to score higher on Friendliness

  20. Variation in the oxytocin receptor gene is associated with behavioral and neural correlates of empathic accuracy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laursen, Helle Ruff; Siebner, Hartwig Roman; Haren, Tina

    2014-01-01

    The neuromodulators oxytocin and serotonin have been implicated in regulating affective processes underlying empathy. Understanding this dependency, however, has been limited by a lack of objective metrics for measuring empathic performance. Here we employ a novel psychophysical method for measur......The neuromodulators oxytocin and serotonin have been implicated in regulating affective processes underlying empathy. Understanding this dependency, however, has been limited by a lack of objective metrics for measuring empathic performance. Here we employ a novel psychophysical method...... performing an irrelevant attention-demanding task. We investigated the effect of variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) on the psychophysical and neurometric variability associated with empathic performance. The OXTR rs2268498 and rs53576 polymorphisms...

  1. Oxytocin and Vasopressin Receptor Gene Polymorphisms: Role in Social and Psychiatric Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aspé-Sánchez, Mauricio; Moreno, Macarena; Rivera, Maria Ignacia; Rossi, Alejandra; Ewer, John

    2016-01-01

    Oxytocin (OXT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) are two phylogenetically conserved neuropeptides that have been implicated in a wide range of social behaviors. Although a large body of research, ranging from rodents to humans, has reported on the effects of OXT and AVP administration on affiliative and trust behaviors, and has highlighted the genetic contributions of OXT and AVP receptor polymorphisms to both social behaviors and to diseases related to social deficits, the consequences of peptide administration on psychiatric symptoms, and the impact of receptor polymorphisms on receptor function, are still unclear. Despite the exciting advances that these reports have brought to social neuroscience, they remain preliminary and suffer from the problems that are inherent to monogenetic linkage and association studies. As an alternative, some studies are using polygenic approaches, and consider the contributions of other genes and pathways, including those involving DA, 5-HT, and reelin, in addition to OXT and AVP; a handful of report are also using genome-wide association studies. This review summarizes findings on the associations between OXT and AVP receptor polymorphism, social behavior, and psychiatric diseases. In addition, we discuss reports on the interactions of OXT and AVP receptor genes and genes involved in other pathways (such as those of dopamine, serotonin, and reelin), as well as research that has shed some light on the impact of gene polymorphisms on the volume, connectivity, and activation of specific neural structures, differential receptor expression, and plasma levels of the OXT and AVP peptides. We hope that this effort will be helpful for understanding the studies performed so far, and for encouraging the inclusion of other candidate genes not explored to date. PMID:26858594

  2. Disadvantage of Social Sensitivity: Interaction of Oxytocin Receptor Genotype and Child Maltreatment on Brain Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dannlowski, Udo; Kugel, Harald; Grotegerd, Dominik; Redlich, Ronny; Opel, Nils; Dohm, Katharina; Zaremba, Dario; Grögler, Anne; Schwieren, Juliane; Suslow, Thomas; Ohrmann, Patricia; Bauer, Jochen; Krug, Axel; Kircher, Tilo; Jansen, Andreas; Domschke, Katharina; Hohoff, Christa; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Heinrichs, Markus; Arolt, Volker; Heindel, Walter; Baune, Bernhard T

    2016-09-01

    Oxytocin has received much attention as a prosocial and anxiolytic neuropeptide. In human studies, the G-allele of a common variant (rs53576) in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) has been associated with protective properties such as reduced stress response and higher receptiveness for social support. In contrast, recent studies suggest a detrimental role of the rs53576 G-allele in the context of childhood maltreatment. To further elucidate the role of OXTR, gene by maltreatment interactions on brain structure and function were investigated. Three hundred nine healthy participants genotyped for OXTR rs53576 underwent structural as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging during a common emotional face-matching task. Childhood maltreatment was assessed with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Gray matter volumes were investigated by means of voxel-based morphometry across the entire brain. Structural magnetic resonance imaging data revealed a strong interaction of rs53576 genotype and CTQ scores, mapping specifically to the bilateral ventral striatum. GG homozygotes but not A-allele carriers showed strong gray matter reduction with increasing CTQ scores. In turn, lower ventral striatum gray matter volumes were associated with lower reward dependence, a prosocial trait. Furthermore, the G-allele was associated with increased amygdala responsiveness to emotional facial expressions. The findings suggest that the G-allele constitutes a vulnerability factor for specific alterations of limbic brain structure in individuals with adverse childhood experiences, complemented by increased limbic responsiveness to emotional interpersonal stimuli. While oxytocinergic signaling facilitates attachment and bonding in supportive social environments, this attunement for social cues may turn disadvantageous under early adverse conditions. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Raphe serotonin neuron-specific oxytocin receptor knockout reduces aggression without affecting anxiety-like behavior in male mice only.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagani, J H; Williams Avram, S K; Cui, Z; Song, J; Mezey, É; Senerth, J M; Baumann, M H; Young, W S

    2015-02-01

    Serotonin and oxytocin influence aggressive and anxiety-like behaviors, though it is unclear how the two may interact. That the oxytocin receptor is expressed in the serotonergic raphe nuclei suggests a mechanism by which the two neurotransmitters may cooperatively influence behavior. We hypothesized that oxytocin acts on raphe neurons to influence serotonergically mediated anxiety-like, aggressive and parental care behaviors. We eliminated expression of the oxytocin receptor in raphe neurons by crossing mice expressing Cre recombinase under control of the serotonin transporter promoter (Slc6a4) with our conditional oxytocin receptor knockout line. The knockout mice generated by this cross are normal across a range of behavioral measures: there are no effects for either sex on locomotion in an open-field, olfactory habituation/dishabituation or, surprisingly, anxiety-like behaviors in the elevated O and plus mazes. There was a profound deficit in male aggression: only one of 11 raphe oxytocin receptor knockouts showed any aggressive behavior, compared to 8 of 11 wildtypes. In contrast, female knockouts displayed no deficits in maternal behavior or aggression. Our results show that oxytocin, via its effects on raphe neurons, is a key regulator of resident-intruder aggression in males but not maternal aggression. Furthermore, this reduction in male aggression is quite different from the effects reported previously after forebrain or total elimination of oxytocin receptors. Finally, we conclude that when constitutively eliminated, oxytocin receptors expressed by serotonin cells do not contribute to baseline anxiety-like behaviors or maternal care. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  4. Lack of Association between Human Plasma Oxytocin and Interpersonal Trust in a Prisoner?s Dilemma Paradigm

    OpenAIRE

    Christensen, James C.; Shiyanov, Pavel A.; Estepp, Justin R.; Schlager, John J

    2014-01-01

    Expanding interest in oxytocin, particularly the role of endogenous oxytocin in human social behavior, has created a pressing need for replication of results and verification of assay methods. In this study, we sought to replicate and extend previous results correlating plasma oxytocin with trust and trustworthy behavior. As a necessary first step, the two most commonly used commercial assays were compared in human plasma via the addition of a known quantity of exogenous oxytocin, with and wi...

  5. Lack of association between human plasma oxytocin and interpersonal trust in a Prisoner's Dilemma paradigm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Christensen

    Full Text Available Expanding interest in oxytocin, particularly the role of endogenous oxytocin in human social behavior, has created a pressing need for replication of results and verification of assay methods. In this study, we sought to replicate and extend previous results correlating plasma oxytocin with trust and trustworthy behavior. As a necessary first step, the two most commonly used commercial assays were compared in human plasma via the addition of a known quantity of exogenous oxytocin, with and without sample extraction. Plasma sample extraction was found to be critical in obtaining repeatable concentrations of oxytocin. In the subsequent trust experiment, twelve samples in duplicate, from each of 82 participants, were collected over approximately six hours during the performance of a Prisoner's Dilemma task paradigm that stressed human interpersonal trust. We found no significant relationship between plasma oxytocin concentrations and trusting or trustworthy behavior. In light of these findings, previous published work that used oxytocin immunoassays without sample extraction should be reexamined and future research exploring links between endogenous human oxytocin and trust or social behavior should proceed with careful consideration of methods and appropriate biofluids for analysis.

  6. Genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene is associated with Asperger Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Napoli, Agnese; Warrier, Varun; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Chakrabarti, Bhismadev

    2014-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) are a group of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by impairments in communication and social interaction, alongside unusually repetitive behaviors and narrow interests. ASC are highly heritable and have complex patterns of inheritance where multiple genes are involved, alongside environmental and epigenetic factors. Asperger Syndrome (AS) is a subgroup of these conditions, where there is no history of language or cognitive delay. Animal models suggest a role for oxytocin (OXT) and oxytocin receptor (OXTR) genes in social-emotional behaviors, and several studies indicate that the oxytocin/oxytocin receptor system is altered in individuals with ASC. Previous studies have reported associations between genetic variations in the OXTR gene and ASC. The present study tested for an association between nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the OXTR gene and AS in 530 individuals of Caucasian origin, using SNP association test and haplotype analysis. There was a significant association between rs2268493 in OXTR and AS. Multiple haplotypes that include this SNP (rs2268493-rs2254298, rs2268490-rs2268493-rs2254298, rs2268493-rs2254298-rs53576, rs237885-rs2268490-rs2268493-rs2254298, rs2268490-rs2268493-rs2254298-rs53576) were also associated with AS. rs2268493 has been previously associated with ASC and putatively alters several transcription factor-binding sites and regulates chromatin states, either directly or through other variants in linkage disequilibrium (LD). This study reports a significant association of the sequence variant rs2268493 in the OXTR gene and associated haplotypes with AS.

  7. Treatment with oestrogen-receptor agonists or oxytocin in conjunction with exercise protects against myocardial infarction in ovariectomized rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulut, Erman Caner; Abueid, Leyla; Ercan, Feriha; Süleymanoğlu, Selami; Ağırbaşlı, Mehmet; Yeğen, Berrak Ç

    2016-05-01

    What is the central question of this study? Could the activation of oxytocin or oestrogen receptors be protective against myocardial injury after ovariectomy? If so, would exercising have an additional ameliorating effect? What is the main finding and its importance? The results revealed that when accompanied by exercise, both oestrogen receptor agonists and oxytocin improved cardiac dysfunction, inhibited the generation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and reduced myocardial injury in ovariectomized female rats, suggesting a new approach for protecting postmenopausal women against ischaemia-induced myocardial injury. To investigate the putative protective effects of oxytocin or oestrogen receptor agonists against myocardial injury of ovariectomized sedentary or exercised rats, female Sprague-Dawley rats assigned to sham-operated control and ovariectomized (OVX) groups were kept sedentary or undertook swimming exercise for 4 weeks and were treated with saline, an oestrogen receptor (ER) β (DPN) or ERα agonist (PPT) or oxytocin. Ovariectomy increased weight gain and anxiety in sedentary rats, whereas exercise prevented weight gain. When accompanied by exercise, both ER agonists and oxytocin inhibited weight gain and anxiety; oxytocin, in the absence or presence of exercise, increased the left ventricular diastolic dimensions and ejection fraction, whereas ER agonists also increased left ventricular diameter when given to exercised rats. Upon the induction of myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion in the OVX rats, plasma creatine kinase-(muscle-brain) was depressed by PPT and oxytocin, whereas DPN, PPT and OT reduced plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 concentrations. The increased tumour necrosis factor-α concentration in OVX rats was also suppressed by exercise or DPN, PPT or oxytocin treatments, whereas the interleukin-6 concentration was diminished by all the treatments when given in conjunction with exercise. Disorganization of cardiac muscle fibres was reduced in all

  8. A human tendency to anthropomorphize is enhanced by oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheele, Dirk; Schwering, Christine; Elison, Jed T; Spunt, Robert; Maier, Wolfgang; Hurlemann, René

    2015-10-01

    In the course of human evolution, the brain has evolved into a highly sensitive detector of social signals. As a consequence of this socially driven adaptation, humans display a tendency to anthropomorphize, that is they attribute social meaning to non-social agents. The evolutionarily highly conserved hypothalamic peptide oxytocin (OXT) has been identified as a key factor attaching salience to socially relevant cues, but whether it contributes to spontaneous anthropomorphism is still elusive. In the present study involving 60 healthy female participants, we measured salivary OXT concentrations and explored the effect of a single intranasal dose of synthetic OXT (24 IU) or placebo (PLC) on anthropomorphic tendencies during participants׳ verbal descriptions of short video clips depicting socially and non-socially moving geometric shapes. Our results show that endogenous OXT concentrations at baseline positively correlated with the attribution of animacy to social stimuli. While intranasal OXT had no modulatory effect on arousal ratings and did not make the participants more talkative, the treatment boosted anthropomorphic descriptions specifically for social stimuli. In conclusion, we here provide first evidence indicating that spontaneous anthropomorphism in women is facilitated by oxytocin, thereby enabling a context-specific upregulation of the propensity to anthropomorphize environmental cues. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  9. MDMA induces oxytocin release in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumont, G.; Sweep, F.C.G.J.; Van Der Steen, R.V.; Hermsen, R.; Touw, D.J.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Verkes, R.J.

    2008-01-01

    Introduction: Appropriate social behavior is vital for human health and well-being, nevertheless the neurobiological mechanisms which mediate social behavior remain poorly understood. Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)) is a street drug which gained widespread use in the 'club' scene,

  10. The oxytocin receptor (OXTR contributes to prosocial fund allocations in the dictator game and the social value orientations task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salomon Israel

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Economic games observe social decision making in the laboratory that involves real money payoffs. Previously we have shown that allocation of funds in the Dictator Game (DG, a paradigm that illustrates costly altruistic behavior, is partially determined by promoter-region repeat region variants in the arginine vasopressin 1a receptor gene (AVPR1a. In the current investigation, the gene encoding the related oxytocin receptor (OXTR was tested for association with the DG and a related paradigm, the Social Values Orientation (SVO task. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Association (101 male and 102 female students using a robust-family based test between 15 single tagging SNPs (htSNPs across the OXTR was demonstrated with both the DG and SVO. Three htSNPs across the gene region showed significant association with both of the two games. The most significant association was observed with rs1042778 (p = 0.001. Haplotype analysis also showed significant associations for both DG and SVO. Following permutation test adjustment, significance was observed for 2-5 locus haplotypes (p<0.05. A second sample of 98 female subjects was subsequently and independently recruited to play the dictator game and was genotyped for the three significant SNPs found in the first sample. The rs1042778 SNP was shown to be significant for the second sample as well (p = 0.004, Fisher's exact test. CONCLUSIONS: The demonstration that genetic polymorphisms for the OXTR are associated with human prosocial decision making converges with a large body of animal research showing that oxytocin is an important social hormone across vertebrates including Homo sapiens. Individual differences in prosocial behavior have been shown by twin studies to have a substantial genetic basis and the current investigation demonstrates that common variants in the oxytocin receptor gene, an important element of mammalian social circuitry, underlie such individual differences.

  11. The effect of oxytocin on human-directed social behaviour in dogs (Canis familiaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kis, Anna; Ciobica, Alin; Topál, József

    2017-08-01

    The oxytocin system has recently received increasing attention due to its effect on complex human behaviours. In parallel to this, over the past couple of decades, the human-analogue social behaviour of dogs has been intensively studied. Combining these two lines of research (e.g. studying the relationship between dog social behaviour and the oxytocin system) is a promising new research area. The present paper reviews the existing literature on how oxytocin is related to different aspects of human-directed social behaviour in dogs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Epigenetic Regulation of the Oxytocin Receptor Gene: Implications for Behavioral Neuroscience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert eKumsta

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Genetic approaches have improved our understanding of the neurobiological basis of social behavior and cognition. For instance, common polymorphisms of genes involved in oxytocin signaling have been associated with sociobehavioral phenotypes in healthy samples as well as in subjects with mental disorders. More recently, attention has been drawn to epigenetic mechanisms, which regulate genetic function and expression without changes to the underlying DNA sequence. We provide an overview of the functional importance of oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR promoter methylation and summarize studies that have investigated the role of OXTR methylation in behavioral phenotypes. There is first evidence that OXTR methylation is associated with autism, high callous-unemotional traits, and differential activation of brain regions involved in social perception. Furthermore, psychosocial stress exposure might dynamically regulate OXTR. Given evidence that epigenetic states of genes can be modified by experiences, especially those occurring in sensitive periods early in development, we conclude with a discussion on the effects of traumatic experience on the developing oxytocin system. Epigenetic modification of genes involved in oxytocin signaling might be involved in the mechanisms mediating the long-term influence of early adverse experiences on socio-behavioral outcomes.

  13. Uterine and placental expression of canine oxytocin receptor during pregnancy and normal and induced parturition.

    OpenAIRE

    Gram A Boos A Kowalewski MP.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Oxytocin (OT) plays an important role as an inducer of uterine contractility acting together with its receptor (OTR) to increase synthesis of prostaglandins. Although OT is commonly used in the treatment for dystocia and uterine inertia in the bitch little attention has been paid to the role of OT in mechanisms regulating parturition in the dog so that knowledge about the expression of OTR in the canine uterus and placenta is sparse. Consequently the expression and cellular localizat...

  14. Environmental stress, oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphism, and mental health following collective stress

    OpenAIRE

    Lucas-Thompson, RG; Holman, EA

    2013-01-01

    We examined whether the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs53576 genotype buffers the combined impact of negative social environments (e.g., interpersonal conflict/constraint) and economic stress on post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms and impaired daily functioning following collective stress (September 11th terrorist attacks). Saliva was collected by mail and used to genotype 704 respondents. Participants completed Web-based assessments of pre-9/11 mental h...

  15. Oxytocin and Opioid Receptor Gene Polymorphisms Associated with Greeting Behavior in Dogs

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    Enikő Kubinyi

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Meeting humans is an everyday experience for most companion dogs, and their behavior in these situations and its genetic background is of major interest. Previous research in our laboratory reported that in German shepherd dogs the lack of G allele, and in Border collies the lack of A allele, of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR 19208A/G single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP was linked to increased friendliness, which suggests that although broad traits are affected by genetic variability, the specific links between alleles and behavioral variables might be breed-specific. In the current study, we found that Siberian huskies with the A allele approached a friendly unfamiliar woman less frequently in a greeting test, which indicates that certain polymorphisms are related to human directed behavior, but that the relationship patterns between polymorphisms and behavioral phenotypes differ between populations. This finding was further supported by our next investigation. According to primate studies, endogenous opioid peptide (e.g., endorphins receptor genes have also been implicated in social relationships. Therefore, we examined the rs21912990 of the OPRM1 gene. Firstly, we found that the allele frequencies of Siberian huskies and gray wolves were similar, but differed from that of Border collies and German shepherd dogs, which might reflect their genetic relationship. Secondly, we detected significant associations between the OPRM1 SNP and greeting behavior among German shepherd dogs and a trend in Border collies, but we could not detect an association in Siberian huskies. Although our results with OXTR and OPRM1 gene variants should be regarded as preliminary due to the relatively low sample size, they suggest that (1 OXTR and OPRM1 gene variants in dogs affect human-directed social behavior and (2 their effects differ between breeds.

  16. Alcohol and aggressive behavior in men--moderating effects of oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, A; Bergman, H; Corander, J; Waldman, I D; Karrani, N; Salo, B; Jern, P; Algars, M; Sandnabba, K; Santtila, P; Westberg, L

    2012-03-01

    We explored if the disposition to react with aggression while alcohol intoxicated was moderated by polymorphic variants of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR). Twelve OXTR polymorphisms were genotyped in 116 Finnish men [aged 18-30, M = 22.7, standard deviation (SD) = 2.4] who were randomly assigned to an alcohol condition in which they received an alcohol dose of 0.7 g pure ethanol/kg body weight or a placebo condition. Aggressive behavior was measured using a laboratory paradigm in which it was operationalized as the level of aversive noise administered to a fictive opponent. No main effects of the polymorphisms on aggressive behavior were found after controlling for multiple testing. The interactive effects between alcohol and two of the OXTR polymorphisms (rs4564970 and rs1488467) on aggressive behavior were nominally significant and remained significant for the rs4564970 when controlled for multiple tests. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first experimental study suggesting interactive effects of specific genetic variants and alcohol on aggressive behavior in humans. © 2011 The Authors. Genes, Brain and Behavior © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  17. Association between Oxytocin Receptor Gene Polymorphisms and Self-Rated ‘Empathic Concern’ in Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montag, Christiane; Brockmann, Eva-Maria; Lehmann, Anja; Müller, Daniel J.; Rujescu, Dan; Gallinat, Jürgen

    2012-01-01

    The nonapeptide oxytocin (OXT) and its receptor (OXTR) have been implicated in social cognition, empathy, emotion and stress regulation in humans. Previous studies reported associations between OXT and OXTR genetic polymorphisms and risk for disorders characterized by impaired socio-emotional functioning, such as schizophrenia and autism. Here we investigate the influence of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the OXTR gene on a measure of socio-emotional functioning in schizophrenic patients. OXTR SNPs that were previously investigated in other studies were genotyped in 145 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia according to DSM-IV and 145 healthy controls matched for age and gender. The Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) was used to assess cognitive (‘perspective taking’), affective (‘empathic concern’) and self-related (‘personal distress’) dimensions of empathy. No group differences in genotype frequencies were observed. MANCOVA revealed a significant main (F [1,282] = 10.464; pGG) with ‘empathic concern’. Within the schizophrenia group, linear regression analysis determined OXTR rs2254298 genotype, PANSS negative and general symptom score, and age of disease onset as being significantly associated with ‘empathic concern’. OXTR rs2254298 significantly impacted PANSS general psychopathology scores. No associations were found for OXTR rs53576, IRI ‘perspective taking’ or ‘personal distress’ ratings. Our preliminary findings support hypotheses about an involvement of OXTR rs2254298 in emotional empathy in schizophrenic and healthy individuals, warranting independent replication. PMID:23284802

  18. Synthesis of oxytocin in amnion, chorion, and decidua may influence the timing of human parturition

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chibbar, R; Miller, F D; Mitchell, B F

    1993-01-01

    Despite the widespread clinical use of oxytocin (OT) as a potent and specific stimulant of labor, previous research data have not supported a role for OT in the physiology of normal human parturition...

  19. The effects of oxytocin on eating behaviour and metabolism in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Elizabeth A

    2017-12-01

    Oxytocin, a hypothalamic hormone that is secreted directly into the brain and enters the peripheral circulation through the posterior pituitary gland, regulates a range of physiologic processes, including eating behaviour and metabolism. In rodents and nonhuman primates, chronic oxytocin administration leads to sustained weight reduction by reducing food intake, increasing energy expenditure and inducing lipolysis. Oxytocin might improve glucose homeostasis, independently of its effects on weight. Clinical studies are beginning to translate these important preclinical findings to humans. This Review describes key data linking oxytocin to eating behaviour and metabolism in humans. For example, a single intranasal dose of oxytocin can reduce caloric intake, increase fat oxidation and improve insulin sensitivity in men. Furthermore, a pilot study of 8 weeks of oxytocin treatment in adults with obesity or overweight led to substantial weight loss. Together, these data support further investigation of interventions that target pathways involving oxytocin as potential therapeutics in metabolic disorders, including obesity and diabetes mellitus. Therapeutic considerations and areas for further research are also discussed.

  20. Oxytocin in animal models of autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñagarikano, Olga

    2017-02-01

    Autism spectrum disorder is a behavioral disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication together with the presence of stereotyped behaviors and restricted interests. Although highly genetic, its etiology is complex which correlates with the extensive heterogeneity found in its clinical manifestation, adding to the challenge of understanding its pathophysiology and develop targeted pharmacotherapies. The neuropeptide oxytocin is part of a highly conserved system involved in the regulation of social behavior, and both animal and human research have shown that variation in the oxytocin system accounts for interindividual differences in the expression of social behaviors in mammals. In autism, recent studies in human patients and animal models are starting to reveal that alterations in the oxytocin system are more common than previously anticipated. Genetic variation in the key players involved in the system (i.e., oxytocin receptor, oxytocin, and CD38) has been found associated with autism in humans, and animal models of the disorder converge in an altered oxytocin system and/or dysfunction in oxytocin related biological processes. Furthermore, oxytocin administration exerts a behavioral and neurobiological response, and thus, the oxytocin system has become a promising potential therapeutical target for autism. Animal models represent a valuable tool to aid in the research into the potential therapeutic use of oxytocin. In this review, I aim to discuss the main findings related to oxytocin research in autism with a focus on findings in animal models. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 202-213, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. No association between oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene polymorphisms and experimentally elicited social preferences.

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    Coren L Apicella

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Oxytocin (OXT has been implicated in a suite of complex social behaviors including observed choices in economic laboratory experiments. However, actual studies of associations between oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene variants and experimentally elicited social preferences are rare. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We test hypotheses of associations between social preferences, as measured by behavior in two economic games, and 9 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs of the OXTR gene in a sample of Swedish twins (n = 684. Two standard economic games, the dictator game and the trust game, both involving real monetary consequences, were used to elicit such preferences. After correction for multiple hypothesis testing, we found no significant associations between any of the 9 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs and behavior in either of the games. CONCLUSION: We were unable to replicate the most significant association reported in previous research between the amount donated in a dictator game and an OXTR genetic variant.

  2. Gene expression of estrogen and oxytocin receptors in the uterus of pregnant and parturient bitches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.A.L. Veiga

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In the canine species, the precise mechanisms of pregnancy maintenance and the initiation of parturition are not completely understood. The expression of genes encoding the receptors for estrogen (ERα mRNA and oxytocin (OTR mRNA was studied in the endometrium and myometrium during pregnancy and parturition in dogs. Real-time PCR was performed to quantify the levels of ERα mRNA and OTR mRNA in the uterus of bitches during early (up to 20 days of gestation, mid (20 to 40 days and late pregnancy (41 to 60 days, and parturition (first stage of labor. All tissues expressed ERα and OTR mRNA, and are thus possibly able to respond to eventual estrogen and oxytocin hormonal stimuli. No statistically significant differences in the expression of ERα mRNA were verified in the endometrium and myometrium throughout pregnancy and parturition, but expression of OTR mRNA increased at both parturition and late pregnancy. We concluded that the increase of endometrial and myometrial OTR mRNA expression in dogs is not an event dependent on estrogenic stimulation. Moreover, the contractility response of the canine uterus to oxytocin begins during pregnancy and maintains myometrial activity. The expression of OTR mRNA in canine uterine tissues varied over time, which supports an interpretation that the sensitivity and response to hormone therapy varies during the course of pregnancy and labor. Further studies are needed to elucidate the factors underlying the synthesis of uterine oxytocin receptors and the possible role of ERβ rather than ERα in the uterine tissues during pregnancy and parturition in dogs.

  3. Gene expression of estrogen and oxytocin receptors in the uterus of pregnant and parturient bitches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Veiga, G.A.L. [Departamento de Reprodução Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP (Brazil); Milazzotto, M.P. [Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas, Universidade Federal do ABC, Santo André, SP (Brazil); Nichi, M.; Lúcio, C.F.; Silva, L.C.G.; Angrimani, D.S.R.; Vannucchi, C.I. [Departamento de Reprodução Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2015-02-13

    In the canine species, the precise mechanisms of pregnancy maintenance and the initiation of parturition are not completely understood. The expression of genes encoding the receptors for estrogen (ERα mRNA) and oxytocin (OTR mRNA) was studied in the endometrium and myometrium during pregnancy and parturition in dogs. Real-time PCR was performed to quantify the levels of ERα mRNA and OTR mRNA in the uterus of bitches during early (up to 20 days of gestation), mid (20 to 40 days) and late pregnancy (41 to 60 days), and parturition (first stage of labor). All tissues expressed ERα and OTR mRNA, and are thus possibly able to respond to eventual estrogen and oxytocin hormonal stimuli. No statistically significant differences in the expression of ERα mRNA were verified in the endometrium and myometrium throughout pregnancy and parturition, but expression of OTR mRNA increased at both parturition and late pregnancy. We concluded that the increase of endometrial and myometrial OTR mRNA expression in dogs is not an event dependent on estrogenic stimulation. Moreover, the contractility response of the canine uterus to oxytocin begins during pregnancy and maintains myometrial activity. The expression of OTR mRNA in canine uterine tissues varied over time, which supports an interpretation that the sensitivity and response to hormone therapy varies during the course of pregnancy and labor. Further studies are needed to elucidate the factors underlying the synthesis of uterine oxytocin receptors and the possible role of ERβ rather than ERα in the uterine tissues during pregnancy and parturition in dogs.

  4. A review of safety, side-effects and subjective reactions to intranasal oxytocin in human research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Elayne; Dadds, Mark R; Brennan, John L; Williams, Katrina; Levy, Florence; Cauchi, Avril J

    2011-09-01

    Human research investigating the impact of intranasal oxytocin on psychological processes has accelerated over the last two decades. No review of side effects, subjective reactions and safety is available. A systematic review of 38 randomised controlled trials conducted between 1990 and 2010 that investigated the central effects of intranasal oxytocin was undertaken. A systematic search for reports of adverse reactions involving intranasal oxytocin was also completed. Since 1990, research trials have reported on N=1529 (79% male) of which 8% were participants with developmental or mental health difficulties. Dosages ranged from 18 to 40 IU, mainly in single doses but ranged up to 182 administrations. Diverse methods have been used to screen and exclude participants, monitor side effects and subject reactions. Side effects are not different between oxytocin and placebo and participants are unable to accurately report on whether they have received oxytocin and placebo. Three case reports of adverse reactions due to misuse and longer-term use of intranasal oxytocin were reported. The evidence shows that intranasal oxytocin: (1) produces no detectable subjective changes in recipients, (2) produces no reliable side-effects, and (3) is not associated with adverse outcomes when delivered in doses of 18-40 IU for short term use in controlled research settings. Future research directions should include a focus on the dosage and duration of use, and application with younger age groups, vulnerable populations, and with females. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Development of a human vasopressin V1a-receptor antagonist from an evolutionary-related insect neuropeptide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Di Giglio, Maria Giulia; Muttenthaler, Markus; Harpsøe, Kasper

    2017-01-01

    conservation of the 600-million-year-old oxytocin/vasopressin signalling system. We isolated the insect oxytocin/vasopressin orthologue inotocin from the black garden ant (Lasius niger), identified and cloned its cognate receptor and determined its pharmacological properties on the insect and human oxytocin....../vasopressin receptors. Subsequently, we identified a functional dichotomy: inotocin activated the insect inotocin and the human vasopressin V1b receptors, but inhibited the human V1aR. Replacement of Arg8 of inotocin by D-Arg8 led to a potent, stable and competitive V1aR-antagonist ([D-Arg8]-inotocin) with a 3,000-fold...

  6. Impact of estrogen receptor α gene and oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms on female sexuality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia K Armeni

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decades, research attention has increasingly been paid to the neurobiological component of sexual behavior. The aim of the present study was to investigate the correlation of estrogen receptor α (ERA gene polymorphism (rs2234693-PvuII (T→C substitution and oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism (rs53576 (G→A substitution with sexuality parameters of young, healthy women. One hundred thirty-three Greek heterosexual women, students in higher education institutions, 20–25 years of age, sexually active, with normal menstrual cycles (28–35 days, were recruited in the study. Exclusion criteria were chronic and/or major psychiatric diseases, use of oral contraceptive pills (OCs, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS, thyroid diseases as well as drugs that are implicated in hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal axis. T allele (wildtype of rs2234693 (PvuII polymorphism of ERA gene was correlated with increased levels of arousal and lubrication, whereas A allele (polymorphic of rs53576 (OXTR polymorphism was correlated with increased arousal levels. The simultaneous presence of both T allele of rs2234693 (PvuII and A allele of rs53576 (OXTR polymorphisms (T + A group was correlated with increased arousal, orgasm levels as well as female sexual function index full score. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the interaction between ERA and OXTR with regard to sexual function in women. Female sexuality is a complex behavioral trait that encompasses both biological and psychological components. It seems that variability in female sexual response stems from genetic variability that characterizes endocrine, neurotransmitter and central nervous system influences.

  7. Oxytocin can impair memory for social and non-social visual objects: a within-subject investigation of oxytocin's effects on human memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzmann, Grit; Young, Brent; Bird, Christopher W; Curran, Tim

    2012-04-27

    Oxytocin is important to social behavior and emotion regulation in humans. Oxytocin's role derives in part from its effect on memory performance. More specifically, previous research suggests that oxytocin facilitates recognition of social (e.g., faces), but not of non-social stimuli (e.g., words, visual objects). We conducted the first within-subject study to this hypothesis in a double-blind, placebo-controlled design. We administered oxytocin (24IU) and placebo (saline) in two separate sessions and in randomized order to healthy men. To obtain a baseline measure for session-dependent memory effects, which are caused by proactive interference, an additional group of male subjects in each session received placebo unbeknownst to them and the experimenter. After administration, participants studied faces and houses. Exactly one day after each study session, participants were asked to make memory judgments of new and old items. In the first study-test session, participants administered with oxytocin showed reduced recollection of previously studied faces and houses. Oxytocin also interacted with proactive-interference effects. By impeding memory in the first session, it reduced proactive interference in the second. But oxytocin contributed additionally to the memory-reducing effect of proactive interference when administered in the second session. These results demonstrate that oxytocin can have a memory-impairing effect on both social and non-social visual objects. The present study also emphasizes the necessity of including a non-treated, baseline group in within-subject designs when investigating oxytocin's effects on human memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Nasal Oxytocin Treatment Biases Dogs’ Visual Attention and Emotional Response toward Positive Human Facial Expressions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanni Somppi

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The neuropeptide oxytocin plays a critical role in social behavior and emotion regulation in mammals. The aim of this study was to explore how nasal oxytocin administration affects gazing behavior during emotional perception in domestic dogs. Looking patterns of dogs, as a measure of voluntary attention, were recorded during the viewing of human facial expression photographs. The pupil diameters of dogs were also measured as a physiological index of emotional arousal. In a placebo-controlled within-subjects experimental design, 43 dogs, after having received either oxytocin or placebo (saline nasal spray treatment, were presented with pictures of unfamiliar male human faces displaying either a happy or an angry expression. We found that, depending on the facial expression, the dogs’ gaze patterns were affected selectively by oxytocin treatment. After receiving oxytocin, dogs fixated less often on the eye regions of angry faces and revisited (glanced back at more often the eye regions of smiling (happy faces than after the placebo treatment. Furthermore, following the oxytocin treatment dogs fixated and revisited the eyes of happy faces significantly more often than the eyes of angry faces. The analysis of dogs’ pupil diameters during viewing of human facial expressions indicated that oxytocin may also have a modulatory effect on dogs’ emotional arousal. While subjects’ pupil sizes were significantly larger when viewing angry faces than happy faces in the control (placebo treatment condition, oxytocin treatment not only eliminated this effect but caused an opposite pupil response. Overall, these findings suggest that nasal oxytocin administration selectively changes the allocation of attention and emotional arousal in domestic dogs. Oxytocin has the potential to decrease vigilance toward threatening social stimuli and increase the salience of positive social stimuli thus making eye gaze of friendly human faces more salient for dogs. Our

  9. Expression of oxytocin, progesterone, and estrogen receptors in the reproductive tract of bitches with pyometra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prapaiwan, N; Manee-In, S; Olanratmanee, E; Srisuwatanasagul, S

    2017-02-01

    Canine pyometra is considered a serious and life-threatening condition. Due to the relationship among sex steroid hormones, oxytocin receptor (OTR) expression, and canine pyometra pathogenesis, this study aimed to investigate the expression of oxytocin, progesterone, and estrogen receptors in the reproductive tissues of canines with pyometra by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. A total of 27 pyometra bitches were classified into open- and closed-cervix pyometra groups based on the presence of vaginal discharge. Moreover, 15 normal bitches in the luteal phase served as a control group. The results showed that OTR gene expression in the ovary of pyometra bitches was higher than that of normal bitches, whereas the level of OTR gene expression in the cervix of pyometra bitches was less than that of normal bitches (P pyometra bitches compared with normal bitches, whereas a higher percentage of OTR-positive immunostaining in uteri and cervices were found in pyometra bitches compared with normal bitches (P pyometra bitches were less than that of normal bitches (P pyometra bitches was not different. Our findings suggest that pyometra pathogenesis is associated with a change in expression of OTR and sex steroid receptors in the canine reproductive tract. However, cervical dilation in bitches with pyometra was not influenced by the expression of OTR and sex steroid receptors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor and G protein-coupled receptor kinase 6 (GRK6) genes with oxytocin dosing requirements and labor outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotegut, Chad A; Ngan, Emily; Garrett, Melanie E; Miranda, Marie Lynn; Ashley-Koch, Allison E; Swamy, Geeta K

    2017-09-01

    Oxytocin is a potent uterotonic agent that is widely used for induction and augmentation of labor. Oxytocin has a narrow therapeutic index and the optimal dosing for any individual woman varies widely. The objective of this study was to determine whether genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) or in the gene encoding G protein-coupled receptor kinase 6 (GRK6), which regulates desensitization of the oxytocin receptor, could explain variation in oxytocin dosing and labor outcomes among women being induced near term. Pregnant women with a singleton gestation residing in Durham County, NC, were prospectively enrolled as part of the Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby cohort study. Those women undergoing an induction of labor at 36 weeks or greater were genotyped for 18 haplotype-tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms in OXTR and 7 haplotype-tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms in GRK6 using TaqMan assays. Linear regression was used to examine the relationship between maternal genotype and maximal oxytocin infusion rate, total oxytocin dose received, and duration of labor. Logistic regression was used to test for the association of maternal genotype with mode of delivery. For each outcome, backward selection techniques were utilized to control for important confounding variables and additive genetic models were used. Race/ethnicity was included in all models because of differences in allele frequencies across populations, and Bonferroni correction for multiple testing was used. DNA was available from 482 women undergoing induction of labor at 36 weeks or greater. Eighteen haplotype-tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms within OXTR and 7 haplotype-tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms within GRK6 were examined. Five single-nucleotide polymorphisms in OXTR showed nominal significance with maximal infusion rate of oxytocin, and two single-nucleotide polymorphisms in OXTR were associated with total oxytocin dose received. One single-nucleotide polymorphism in

  11. Interferon-tau and oxytocin receptor in bovien placentomes through out pregnancy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dantzer, Vibeke; Ivell, R.; Balvers, M.

    Objective: Interferon-tau (IFNT) secreted by the conceptus is an important factor in the maintenance of luteal function in cows during early pregnancy until day 36. In this multiplex, synepitheliochorial placenta the expression of oxytocin receptor (OXTR) is resumed in the intercaruncular...... but not in the caruncular endometrium on day 50, although being similar in both regions in cyclic cows. The IFNT protein seems to suppress endometrial estrogen (ER) and OXTR thus inhibiting luteolytic PGF 2 alfa. Our hypothesis was that IFNT synthesis continues in placentomal trophoblast after day 36 regulating...

  12. Role of the oxytocin receptor expressed in the rostral medullary raphe in thermoregulation during cold conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiyuki eKasahara

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Recent papers have reported that oxytocin (Oxt and the oxytocin receptor (Oxtr may be involved in the regulation of food intake in mammals. We therefore suspected the Oxt/Oxtr system to be involved in energy homeostasis. In previous studies, we found a tendency toward obesity in Oxtr-deficient mice, as well as impaired thermoregulation when these mice were exposed to cold conditions. In the present study, we observed the expression of Oxtr in the rostral medullary raphe (RMR, the brain region known to control thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue. Through immunohistochemistry, we detected neurons expressing Oxtr and c-Fos in the RMR of mice exposed to cold conditions. Up to 40% of Oxtr-positive neurons in RMR were classified as glutamatergic neurons, as shown by immunostaining using anti-VGLUT3 antibody. In addition, mice with exclusive expression of Oxtr in the RMR were generated by injecting an AAV-Oxtr vector into the RMR region of Oxtr-deficient mice. We confirmed the recovery of thermoregulatory ability in the manipulated mice during exposure to cold conditions. Moreover, mice with RMR-specific expression of Oxtr lost the typical morphological change in brown adipose tissue observed in Oxtr-deficient mice. Additionally, increased expression of the β3-adrenergic receptor gene, Adrb3 was observed in brown adipose tissue. These results are the first to show the critical role of RMR Oxtr expression in thermoregulation during cold conditions.

  13. Intranasal oxytocin blocks alcohol withdrawal in human subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Cort A; Smedley, Kelly L; Leserman, Jane; Jarskog, Lars Fredrik; Rau, Shane W; Kampov-Polevoi, Alexei; Casey, Robin L; Fender, Trace; Garbutt, James C

    2013-03-01

    The neuropeptide, oxytocin (OT), has been reported to block tolerance formation to alcohol and decrease withdrawal symptoms in alcohol-dependent rodents. Numerous recent studies in human subjects indicate that OT administered by the intranasal route penetrates into and exerts effects within the brain. In a randomized, double-blind clinical trial, intranasal OT (24 IU/dose, N = 7) or placebo (N = 4) was given twice daily for 3 days in alcohol-dependent subjects admitted to a research unit for medical detoxification using Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol (CIWA) score-driven PRN administration of lorazepam. Subjects rated themselves on the Alcohol Withdrawal Symptom Checklist (AWSC) each time CIWA scores were obtained. Subjects also completed the Penn Alcohol Craving Scale, an Alcohol Craving Visual Analog Scale (ACVAS) and the Profile of Mood States (POMS) on inpatient days 2 and 3. All subjects had drunk heavily each day for at least 2 weeks prior to study and had previously experienced withdrawal upon stopping/decreasing alcohol consumption. OT was superior to placebo in reducing alcohol withdrawal as evidenced by: less total lorazepam required to complete detoxification (3.4 mg [4.7, SD] vs. 16.5 [4.4], p = 0.0015), lower mean CIWA scores on admission day 1 (4.3 [2.3] vs. 11.8 [0.4], p block alcohol withdrawal in human subjects. Our results are consistent with previous findings in rodents that OT inhibits neuroadaptation to and withdrawal from alcohol. OT could have advantages over benzodiazepines in managing alcohol withdrawal because it may reverse rather than maintain sedative-hypnotic tolerance. It will be important to test whether OT treatment is effective in reducing drinking in alcohol-dependent outpatients. Copyright © 2012 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  14. Vasopressin and oxytocin receptor systems in the brain: sex differences and sex-specific regulation of social behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumais, Kelly M.; Veenema, Alexa H.

    2015-01-01

    The neuropeptides vasopressin (VP) and oxytocin (OT) and their receptors in the brain are involved in the regulation of various social behaviors and have emerged as drug targets for the treatment of social dysfunction in several sex-biased neuropsychiatric disorders. Sex differences in the VP and OT systems may therefore be implicated in sex-specific regulation of healthy as well as impaired social behaviors. We begin this review by highlighting the sex differences, or lack of sex differences, in VP and OT synthesis in the brain. We then discuss the evidence showing the presence or absence of sex differences in VP and OT receptors in rodents and humans, as well as showing new data of sexually dimorphic V1a receptor binding in the rat brain. Importantly, we find that there is lack of comprehensive analysis of sex differences in these systems in common laboratory species, and we find that, when sex differences are present, they are highly brain region- and species- specific. Interestingly, VP system parameters (VP and V1aR) are typically higher in males, while sex differences in the OT system are not always in the same direction, often showing higher OT expression in females, but higher OT receptor expression in males. Furthermore, VP and OT receptor systems show distinct and largely non-overlapping expression in the rodent brain, which may cause these receptors to have either complementary or opposing functional roles in the sex-specific regulation of social behavior. Though still in need of further research, we close by discussing how manipulations of the VP and OT systems have given important insights into the involvement of these neuropeptide systems in the sex-specific regulation of social behavior in rodents and humans. PMID:25951955

  15. Dose-dependent effects of chronic central infusion of oxytocin on anxiety, oxytocin receptor binding and stress-related parameters in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Sebastian; Slattery, David A; Uschold-Schmidt, Nicole; Reber, Stefan O; Neumann, Inga D

    2014-04-01

    Chronic psychosocial stress is a recognized risk factor for various affective and somatic disorders. In an established murine model of chronic psychosocial stress, exposure to chronic subordinate colony housing (CSC) results in an alteration of physiological, behavioral, neuroendocrine and immunological parameters, including a long-lasting increase in anxiety, adrenal hypertrophy and thymus atrophy. Based on the stress-protective and anxiolytic properties of oxytocin (OXT) after acute administration in rodents and humans, the major aims of our study were to assess whether chronic administration of OXT dose-dependently affects the behavior and physiology of male mice, as for therapeutic use in humans, mostly chronic treatment approaches will be used. Further, we studied, whether chronic administration during CSC prevents stress-induced consequences. Our results indicate that chronic intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of OXT (15 days) at high (10ng/h), but not at low (1ng/h) dose, induces an anxiogenic phenotype with a concomitant reduction of OXT receptor (OXTR) binding within the septum, the basolateral and medial amygdala, as well as the median raphe nucleus. Further, we demonstrate that chronic ICV infusion of OXT (1ng/h) during a 19-day CSC exposure prevents the hyper-anxiety, thymus atrophy, adrenal hypertrophy, and decreased in vitro adrenal ACTH sensitivity. Thus, given both negative, but also beneficial effects seen after chronic OXT treatment, which appear to be dose-dependent, a deeper understanding of long-lasting treatment effects is required before OXT can be considered for long-term therapeutic use for the treatment of psychopathologies such as autism, schizophrenia or anxiety-disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Estrogenic Activity of Some Phytoestrogens on Bovine Oxytocin and Thymidine Kinase-ERE Promoter through Estrogen Receptor-α in MDA-MB 231 Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehsan Zayerzadeh

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Phytoestrogens, a group of plant-derived polyphenolic compounds have recently come into considerable attention due to the increasing information on their potential adverse effects in human health. Some of phytoestrogens show estrogenic activity that may be carcinogenic for human. In the present study, we investigated the transcriptional effects of variety of phytoestrogens on the bovine oxytocin and the thymidine kinase-ERE promoter by estrogen receptor α in MDA-MB 231 breast cancer cell line. Materials and Methods: Cells were seeded for transfections into 12- well plates at a density of 100000 cells per well were transfected with a total of 3 μg of plasmid DNA using calcium phosphate coprecipitation. Estrogen and some phytoestrogens (naringenin, 8-prenyl-naringenin and 6-( 1, 1 - dimethylallyl naringenin were used for the stimulation of transfected cells. Results: Findings of our study clearly demonstrated the subtype-selective activation of estrogen receptor (ERα and (ERβ by the p hytoestrogen naringenin (activating estrogen receptor β and its substituted forms 8-prenyl-naringenin and 6-( 1, 1 - dimethylallyl naringenin (activating estrogen receptor α , on the ERE-controlled promoter as well as on the oxytocin gene promoter. Conclusion: The study revealed that some p hytoestrogen s show estrogenic activity by classical or non-classical mechanisms as well as exhibit estrogenic activity by undetermined mechanisms in transfected MDA-MB 231 cell line.

  17. Oxytocin receptor gene sequences in owl monkeys and other primates show remarkable interspecific regulatory and protein coding variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babb, Paul L; Fernandez-Duque, Eduardo; Schurr, Theodore G

    2015-10-01

    The oxytocin (OT) hormone pathway is involved in numerous physiological processes, and one of its receptor genes (OXTR) has been implicated in pair bonding behavior in mammalian lineages. This observation is important for understanding social monogamy in primates, which occurs in only a small subset of taxa, including Azara's owl monkey (Aotus azarae). To examine the potential relationship between social monogamy and OXTR variation, we sequenced its 5' regulatory (4936bp) and coding (1167bp) regions in 25 owl monkeys from the Argentinean Gran Chaco, and examined OXTR sequences from 1092 humans from the 1000 Genomes Project. We also assessed interspecific variation of OXTR in 25 primate and rodent species that represent a set of phylogenetically and behaviorally disparate taxa. Our analysis revealed substantial variation in the putative 5' regulatory region of OXTR, with marked structural differences across primate taxa, particularly for humans and chimpanzees, which exhibited unique patterns of large motifs of dinucleotide A+T repeats upstream of the OXTR 5' UTR. In addition, we observed a large number of amino acid substitutions in the OXTR CDS region among New World primate taxa that distinguish them from Old World primates. Furthermore, primate taxa traditionally defined as socially monogamous (e.g., gibbons, owl monkeys, titi monkeys, and saki monkeys) all exhibited different amino acid motifs for their respective OXTR protein coding sequences. These findings support the notion that monogamy has evolved independently in Old World and New World primates, and that it has done so through different molecular mechanisms, not exclusively through the oxytocin pathway. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Activation of presynaptic oxytocin receptors enhances glutamate release in the ventral hippocampus of prenatally restraint stressed rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mairesse, Jérôme; Gatta, Eleonora; Reynaert, Marie-Line; Marrocco, Jordan; Morley-Fletcher, Sara; Soichot, Marion; Deruyter, Lucie; Camp, Gilles Van; Bouwalerh, Hammou; Fagioli, Francesca; Pittaluga, Anna; Allorge, Delphine; Nicoletti, Ferdinando; Maccari, Stefania

    2015-12-01

    Oxytocin receptors are known to modulate synaptic transmission and network activity in the hippocampus, but their precise function has been only partially elucidated. Here, we have found that activation of presynaptic oxytocin receptor with the potent agonist, carbetocin, enhanced depolarization-evoked glutamate release in the ventral hippocampus with no effect on GABA release. This evidence paved the way for examining the effect of carbetocin treatment in "prenatally restraint stressed" (PRS) rats, i.e., the offspring of dams exposed to repeated episodes of restraint stress during pregnancy. Adult PRS rats exhibit an anxious/depressive-like phenotype associated with an abnormal glucocorticoid feedback regulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and, remarkably, with a reduced depolarization-evoked glutamate release in the ventral hippocampus. Chronic systemic treatment with carbetocin (1mg/kg, i.p., once a day for 2-3 weeks) in PRS rats corrected the defect in glutamate release, anxiety- and depressive-like behavior, and abnormalities in social behavior, in the HPA response to stress, and in the expression of stress-related genes in the hippocampus and amygdala. Of note, carbetocin treatment had no effect on these behavioral and neuroendocrine parameters in prenatally unstressed (control) rats, with the exception of a reduced expression of the oxytocin receptor gene in the amygdala. These findings disclose a novel function of oxytocin receptors in the hippocampus, and encourage the use of oxytocin receptor agonists in the treatment of stress-related psychiatric disorders in adult life. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Chronic oxytocin administration as a treatment against impaired leptin signaling or leptin resistance in obesity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordi eAltirriba

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This review summarizes the existing literature on the effects of oxytocin administration in the treatment of obesity in different animal models and in humans, focusing on the central control of food intake, the oxytocin effects on adipose tissue and the relationships between oxytocin and leptin.Oxytocin is a hypothalamic nonapeptide synthetized mainly in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei projecting to the pituitary, where it reaches the peripheral circulation, as well as to other brain regions. Moreover, leptin modulates oxytocin levels and activates oxytocin neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, which innervates the nucleus of the solitary tract, partly responsible for the brain-elicited oxytocin effects.Taking into account that oxytocin is located downstream leptin, it was hypothesized that oxytocin treatment would be effective in decreasing body weight in leptin-resistant DIO animals, as well as in those with leptin or with leptin receptor deficiency. Several groups have demonstrated that in such animal models (rats, mice and rhesus monkeys, central or peripheral oxytocin administration decreases body weight, mainly due to a decrease in fat mass, demonstrating that an oxytocin treatment is able to partly overcome leptin deficiency or resistance. Moreover, a pilot clinical study demonstrated the efficiency of oxytocin in the treatment of obesity in human subjects.

  20. Ageing and oxytocin: a call for extending human oxytocin research to ageing populations--a mini-review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huffmeijer, Renske; van Ijzendoorn, Marinus H; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J

    2013-01-01

    Interest in oxytocin has increased rapidly over the last decades. Consequently, quite a number of studies have addressed the influence of oxytocin on social stress, perception, cognition, and decision making in healthy adults as well as in clinical samples characterized by some form of social disturbance. Surprisingly little research on oxytocin has focused on ageing populations. This is particularly striking in two areas of study: the role of oxytocin in grandparents' behavior toward and bonding with their grandchildren and the effects of oxytocin on the neurocognitive processing of socioemotional stimuli. The current mini-review offers an overview of the literature on the involvement of oxytocin in parental behavior and neurocognitive functioning, and discusses the relevance of these findings to ageing individuals. As the literature shows that oxytocin is profoundly involved in parenting and in bonding throughout life, it is highly likely that oxytocin plays a role in grandparenting and bonding between grandparents and grandchildren as well. However, results obtained with younger adults may not be directly applicable to older individuals in yet another type of relationship. The possibility that age-related changes occur in the oxytocin system (which is at present unclear) must be taken into account. In addition, ageing impairs neurocognitive processes that are profoundly affected by oxytocin (including some aspects of memory and emotion recognition) and is associated with alterations in both structure and function of the amygdala, which is prominently involved in mediating effects of oxytocin. Research investigating the ageing oxytonergic system and studies focusing on the involvement of oxytocin in socioemotional neurocognitive processes and social behavior in elderly individuals, including grandparents, are therefore urgently needed. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. Meta-analytic review of the effects of a single dose of intranasal oxytocin on threat processing in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leppanen, Jenni; Ng, Kah Wee; Kim, Youl-Ri; Tchanturia, Kate; Treasure, Janet

    2018-01-01

    Heightened threat sensitivity is a transdiagnostic feature in several psychiatric disorders. The neuropeptide oxytocin has been shown to reduce fear related behaviours and facilitated fear extinction in animals. These findings have led to increasing interest to explore the effects of intranasal oxytocin on threat processing in humans. The review included 26 studies (N = 1173), nine of which included clinical populations (N = 234). The clinical groups included were people with borderline personality disorder (BPD), anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, depression, anxiety, and alcohol dependence disorder. We examined the effects of a single dose of intranasal oxytocin on startle response, attentional responses, and behavioural responses to threat. A single dose of intranasal oxytocin significantly increased the physiological startle response to threat in healthy people with a small effect size. However, oxytocin did not have significant effects on attentional bias towards social or disorder-specific threat, fixation towards threatening stimuli among healthy or clinical populations, or on threat related behavioural approach or avoidance responses. No studies investigated the effects of oxytocin on the startle response to threat among clinical populations. Additionally, only one of the reviewed studies had sufficient power to detect at least a moderate effect of oxytocin according to our criterion. The synthesis of literature suggest that oxytocin may influence the salience of threatening stimuli among healthy individuals, increasing the startle response to threat. It would be of interest to investigate the effects of oxytocin on the startle response to threat among clinical populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Roles of oxytocin neurones in the control of stress, energy metabolism, and social behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onaka, T; Takayanagi, Y; Yoshida, M

    2012-04-01

    Oxytocin neurones are activated by stressful stimuli, food intake and social attachment. Activation of oxytocin neurones in response to stressful stimuli or food intake is mediated, at least in part, by noradrenaline/prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP) neurones in the nucleus tractus solitarius, whereas oxytocin neurones are activated after social stimuli via medial amygdala neurones. Activation of oxytocin neurones induces the release of oxytocin not only from their axon terminals, but also from their dendrites. Oxytocin acts locally where released or diffuses and acts on remote oxytocin receptors widely distributed within the brain, resulting in anxiolytic, anorexic and pro-social actions. The action sites of oxytocin appear to be multiple. Oxytocin shows anxiolytic actions, at least in part, via serotoninergic neurones in the median raphe nucleus, has anorexic actions via pro-opiomelanocortin neurones in the nucleus tractus solitarius and facilitates social recognition via the medial amygdala. Stress, obesity and social isolation are major risk factors for mortality in humans. Thus, the oxytocin-oxytocin receptor system is a therapeutic target for the promotion of human health. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  3. The oxytocin receptor gene, an integral piece of the evolution of Canis familaris from Canis lupus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Lee Oliva

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Previous research in canids has revealed both group (dog versus wolf and individual differences in object choice task (OCT performance. These differences might be explained by variation in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene, as intranasally administered oxytocin has recently been shown to improve performance on this task by domestic dogs. This study looked at microsatellites at various distances from the OXTR gene to determine whether there was an association between this gene and: i species (dog/wolf and ii good versus bad OCT performers. Ten primer sets were designed to amplify 10 microsatellites that were identified at various distances from the canine OXTR gene. We used 94 (52 males, 42 females blood samples from shelter dogs, 75 (33 males, 42 females saliva samples from pet dogs and 12 (6 males, 6 females captive wolf saliva samples to carry out our analyses. Significant species differences were found in the two markers closest to the OXTR gene, suggesting that this gene may have played an important part in the domestic dogs’ evolution from the wolf. However, no significant, meaningful differences were found in microsatellites between good versus bad OCT performers, which suggests that other factors, such as different training and socialisation experiences, probably impacted task performance

  4. Attachment style and oxytocin receptor gene variation interact in influencing social anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notzon, S; Domschke, K; Holitschke, K; Ziegler, C; Arolt, V; Pauli, P; Reif, A; Deckert, J; Zwanzger, P

    2016-01-01

    Social anxiety has been suggested to be promoted by an insecure attachment style. Oxytocin is discussed as a mediator of trust and social bonding as well as a modulator of social anxiety. Applying a gene-environment (G × E) interaction approach, in the present pilot study the main and interactive effects of attachment styles and oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene variation were probed in a combined risk factor model of social anxiety in healthy probands. Participants (N = 388; 219 females, 169 males; age 24.7 ± 4.7 years) were assessed for anxiety in social situations (Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory) depending on attachment style (Adult Attachment Scale, AAS) and OXTR rs53576 A/G genotype. A less secure attachment style was significantly associated with higher social anxiety. This association was partly modulated by OXTR genotype, with a stronger negative influence of a less secure attachment style on social anxiety in A allele carriers as compared to GG homozygotes. The present pilot data point to a strong association of less secure attachment and social anxiety as well as to a gene-environment interaction effect of OXTR rs53576 genotype and attachment style on social anxiety possibly constituting a targetable combined risk marker of social anxiety disorder.

  5. Does Oxytocin Increase Trust in Humans? A Critical Review of Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nave, Gideon; Camerer, Colin; McCullough, Michael

    2015-11-01

    Behavioral neuroscientists have shown that the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) plays a key role in social attachment and affiliation in nonhuman mammals. Inspired by this initial research, many social scientists proceeded to examine the associations of OT with trust in humans over the past decade. To conduct this work, they have (a) examined the effects of exogenous OT increase caused by intranasal administration on trusting behavior, (b) correlated individual difference measures of OT plasma levels with measures of trust, and (c) searched for genetic polymorphisms of the OT receptor gene that might be associated with trust. We discuss the different methods used by OT behavioral researchers and review evidence that links OT to trust in humans. Unfortunately, the simplest promising finding associating intranasal OT with higher trust has not replicated well. Moreover, the plasma OT evidence is flawed by how OT is measured in peripheral bodily fluids. Finally, in recent large-sample studies, researchers failed to find consistent associations of specific OT-related genetic polymorphisms and trust. We conclude that the cumulative evidence does not provide robust convergent evidence that human trust is reliably associated with OT (or caused by it). We end with constructive ideas for improving the robustness and rigor of OT research. © The Author(s) 2015.

  6. Oxytocin inhibits ox-LDL-induced adhesion of monocytic THP-1 cells to human brain microvascular endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shuyan; Pan, Shengying; Tan, Jing; Zhao, Weina; Liu, Fengguo

    2017-12-15

    The attachment of monocytes to human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMVEs) caused by oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) is associated with an early event and the pathological progression of cerebrovascular diseases. Oxytocin (OT) is a human peptide hormone that is traditionally used as a medication to facilitate childbirth. However, little information is available regarding the physiological function of OT in brain endothelial dysfunction. In the present study, our results indicate that the oxytocin receptor (OTR) was expressed in human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMVEs) and was upregulated in response to ox-LDL in a concentration-dependent manner. Notably, OT significantly suppressed ox-LDL-induced attachment of THP-1 monocytes to HBMVEs. Furthermore, we found that OT reduced the expression of adhesion molecules, such as VCAM-1 and E-selectin. Interestingly, it was shown that OT could restore ox-LDL-induced reduction of KLF4 in HBMVEs. Importantly, knockdown of KLF4 abolished the inhibitory effects of OT on ox-LDL-induced expressions of VCAM-1 and E-selectin as well as the adhesion of human monocytic THP-1 cells to endothelial HBMVEs. Mechanistically, we found that the stimulatory effects of OT on KLF4 expression are mediated by the MEK5/MEF2A pathway. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms, attachment, and PTSD: Results from the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sippel, Lauren M; Han, Shizhong; Watkins, Laura E; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan; Southwick, Steven M; Krystal, John H; Olff, Miranda; Sherva, Richard; Farrer, Lindsay A; Kranzler, Henry R; Gelernter, Joel; Pietrzak, Robert H

    2017-11-01

    The human oxytocin system is implicated in social behavior and stress recovery. Polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) may interact with attachment style to predict stress-related psychopathology like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The objective of this study was to examine independent and interactive effects of the OXTR single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs53576, which has been associated with stress reactivity, support-seeking, and PTSD in prior studies, and attachment style on risk for PTSD in a nationally representative sample of 2163 European-American (EA) U.S. military veterans who participated in two independent waves of the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study (NHRVS). Results revealed that insecure attachment style [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 4.29; p attachment style (OR = 2.58, p = 0.02) were associated with probable lifetime PTSD. Among individuals with the minor A allele, the prevalence of probable PTSD was significantly higher among those with an insecure attachment style (23.9%) than those with a secure attachment style (2.0%), equivalent to an adjusted OR of 10.7. We attempted to replicate these findings by utilizing dense marker data from a genome-wide association study of 2215 high-risk civilians; one OXTR variant, though not rs53576, was associated with PTSD. Exploratory analyses in the veteran sample revealed that the interaction between this variant and attachment style predicting probable PTSD approached statistical significance. Results indicate that polymorphisms in the OXTR gene and attachment style may contribute to vulnerability to PTSD in U.S. military veterans. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Identification, localization and functional in vitro and in vivo activity of oxytocin receptor in the rat penis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, X H; Filippi, S; Vignozzi, L; Morelli, A; Mancina, R; Luconi, M; Donati, S; Marini, M; Vannelli, G B; Forti, G; Maggi, M

    2005-03-01

    We recently found that the oxytocin receptor (OTR) is expressed in the human and rabbit corpus cavernosum and mediates contractility in vitro. The present study extended our investigations to the rat, and explored whether OTR regulates penile detumescence in vivo. Real-time RT-PCR quantitatively characterized the distribution of OTR mRNA in the male genital tract. Specific transcripts for OTR were expressed in all the tissues investigated. Penile expression of OTR was comparable to that observed in testis and prostate. Western blot analysis detected a single band of the expected molecular mass for OTR in all tissues examined, including rat penis. Expression of OTR protein in rat penile extracts was further confirmed by binding studies, using the OTR selective radiolabeled ligand 125I-OTA (K(d) = 17 +/- 6.5 pM, B(max)=15.7 +/- 5 fmoles/mg protein). OTR was immunolocalized to the endothelial and smooth muscle compartments of cavernous spaces and blood vessels. In rat corpus cavernosum strips, oxytocin (OT) and an OTR selective agonist ([Thr4,Gly7]OT) induced identical increases in tension, while different vasopressin agonists were less active. In vivo, OT intra-cavernous injection (ICI) dose-dependently inhibited intracavernous pressure (ICP) increase elicited by either electrical stimulation of the cavernous nerve or ICI of papaverine with similar IC(50)s (117.7 +/- 37 mU). The OTR antagonist, atosiban, counteracted the contractile effect of OT both in vitro and in vivo. Atosiban alone significantly increased ICP at lower stimulation frequencies (2 Hz = Ppenis and mediates contractility both in vitro and in vivo, therefore suggesting a role for OT in maintaining penile detumescence.

  9. Oxytocin receptor polymorphism and childhood social experiences shape adult personality, brain structure and neural correlates of mentalizing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider-Hassloff, H; Straube, B; Jansen, A; Nuscheler, B; Wemken, G; Witt, S H; Rietschel, M; Kircher, T

    2016-07-01

    The oxytocin system is involved in human social behavior and social cognition such as attachment, emotion recognition and mentalizing (i.e. the ability to represent mental states of oneself and others). It is shaped by social experiences in early life, especially by parent-infant interactions. The single nucleotid polymorphism rs53576 in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene has been linked to social behavioral phenotypes. In 195 adult healthy subjects we investigated the interaction of OXTR rs53576 and childhood attachment security (CAS) on the personality traits "adult attachment style" and "alexithymia" (i.e. emotional self-awareness), on brain structure (voxel-based morphometry) and neural activation (fMRI) during an interactive mentalizing paradigm (prisoner's dilemma game; subgroup: n=163). We found that in GG-homozygotes, but not in A-allele carriers, insecure childhood attachment is - in adulthood - associated with a) higher attachment-related anxiety and alexithymia, b) higher brain gray matter volume of left amygdala and lower volumes in right superior parietal lobule (SPL), left temporal pole (TP), and bilateral frontal regions, and c) higher mentalizing-related neural activity in bilateral TP and precunei, and right middle and superior frontal gyri. Interaction effects of genotype and CAS on brain volume and/or function were associated with individual differences in alexithymia and attachment-related anxiety. Interactive effects were in part sexually dimorphic. The interaction of OXTR genotype and CAS modulates adult personality as well as brain structure and function of areas implicated in salience processing and mentalizing. Rs53576 GG-homozygotes are partially more susceptible to childhood attachment experiences than A-allele carriers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Oxytocin and vasopressin receptor gene variation as a proximate base for inter- and intraspecific behavioral differences in bonobos and chimpanzees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staes, Nicky; Stevens, Jeroen M G; Helsen, Philippe; Hillyer, Mia; Korody, Marisa; Eens, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    Recent literature has revealed the importance of variation in neuropeptide receptor gene sequences in the regulation of behavioral phenotypic variation. Here we focus on polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and vasopressin receptor gene 1a (Avpr1a) in chimpanzees and bonobos. In humans, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the third intron of OXTR (rs53576 SNP (A/G)) is linked with social behavior, with the risk allele (A) carriers showing reduced levels of empathy and prosociality. Bonobos and chimpanzees differ in these same traits, therefore we hypothesized that these differences might be reflected in variation at the rs53576 position. We sequenced a 320 bp region surrounding rs53576 but found no indications of this SNP in the genus Pan. However, we identified previously unreported SNP variation in the chimpanzee OXTR sequence that differs from both humans and bonobos. Humans and bonobos have previously been shown to have a more similar 5' promoter region of Avpr1a when compared to chimpanzees, who are polymorphic for the deletion of ∼ 360 bp in this region (+/- DupB) which includes a microsatellite (RS3). RS3 has been linked with variation in levels of social bonding, potentially explaining part of the interspecies behavioral differences found in bonobos, chimpanzees and humans. To date, results for bonobos have been based on small sample sizes. Our results confirmed that there is no DupB deletion in bonobos with a sample size comprising approximately 90% of the captive founder population, whereas in chimpanzees the deletion of DupB had the highest frequency. Because of the higher frequency of DupB alleles in our bonobo population, we suggest that the presence of this microsatellite may partly reflect documented differences in levels of sociability found in bonobos and chimpanzees.

  11. Oxytocin and vasopressin receptor gene variation as a proximate base for inter- and intraspecific behavioral differences in bonobos and chimpanzees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicky Staes

    Full Text Available Recent literature has revealed the importance of variation in neuropeptide receptor gene sequences in the regulation of behavioral phenotypic variation. Here we focus on polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR and vasopressin receptor gene 1a (Avpr1a in chimpanzees and bonobos. In humans, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP in the third intron of OXTR (rs53576 SNP (A/G is linked with social behavior, with the risk allele (A carriers showing reduced levels of empathy and prosociality. Bonobos and chimpanzees differ in these same traits, therefore we hypothesized that these differences might be reflected in variation at the rs53576 position. We sequenced a 320 bp region surrounding rs53576 but found no indications of this SNP in the genus Pan. However, we identified previously unreported SNP variation in the chimpanzee OXTR sequence that differs from both humans and bonobos. Humans and bonobos have previously been shown to have a more similar 5' promoter region of Avpr1a when compared to chimpanzees, who are polymorphic for the deletion of ∼ 360 bp in this region (+/- DupB which includes a microsatellite (RS3. RS3 has been linked with variation in levels of social bonding, potentially explaining part of the interspecies behavioral differences found in bonobos, chimpanzees and humans. To date, results for bonobos have been based on small sample sizes. Our results confirmed that there is no DupB deletion in bonobos with a sample size comprising approximately 90% of the captive founder population, whereas in chimpanzees the deletion of DupB had the highest frequency. Because of the higher frequency of DupB alleles in our bonobo population, we suggest that the presence of this microsatellite may partly reflect documented differences in levels of sociability found in bonobos and chimpanzees.

  12. A Role for Oxytocin-Like Receptor in Social Habituation in a Teleost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weitekamp, Chelsea A; Solomon-Lane, Tessa K; Del Valle, Pamela; Triki, Zegni; Nugent, Bridget M; Hofmann, Hans A

    2017-01-01

    Oxytocin (OT) mediates social habituation in rodent model systems, but its role in mediating this effect in other vertebrates is unknown. We used males of the African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, to investigate two aspects of isotocin (IT; an OT homolog) signaling in social habituation. First, we examined the expression of IT receptor 2 (ITR2) as well as two immediate early genes in brain regions implicated in social recognition. Next, we examined IT neuron activity using immunohistochemistry. Patterns of gene expression in homologs of the amygdala and hippocampus implicate IT signaling in these regions in social habituation to a territorial neighbor. In the preoptic area, the expression of the ITR2 subtype and IT neuron activity respond to the presence of a male, independent of familiarity. Our results implicate IT in mediating social habituation in a teleost. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. Psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions: the possible role of oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beetz, Andrea; Uvnäs-Moberg, Kerstin; Julius, Henri; Kotrschal, Kurt

    2012-01-01

    During the last decade it has become more widely accepted that pet ownership and animal assistance in therapy and education may have a multitude of positive effects on humans. Here, we review the evidence from 69 original studies on human-animal interactions (HAI) which met our inclusion criteria with regard to sample size, peer-review, and standard scientific research design. Among the well-documented effects of HAI in humans of different ages, with and without special medical, or mental health conditions are benefits for: social attention, social behavior, interpersonal interactions, and mood; stress-related parameters such as cortisol, heart rate, and blood pressure; self-reported fear and anxiety; and mental and physical health, especially cardiovascular diseases. Limited evidence exists for positive effects of HAI on: reduction of stress-related parameters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine; improvement of immune system functioning and pain management; increased trustworthiness of and trust toward other persons; reduced aggression; enhanced empathy and improved learning. We propose that the activation of the oxytocin system plays a key role in the majority of these reported psychological and psychophysiological effects of HAI. Oxytocin and HAI effects largely overlap, as documented by research in both, humans and animals, and first studies found that HAI affects the oxytocin system. As a common underlying mechanism, the activation of the oxytocin system does not only provide an explanation, but also allows an integrative view of the different effects of HAI.

  14. Psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions: the possible role of oxytocin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea eBeetz

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available During the last decade it has become more widely accepted that pet-ownership and animal-assistance in therapy and education may have a multitude of positive effects on humans. Here, we review the evidence from 67 original studies on human-animal interactions (HAI which met our inclusion criteria with regard to sample size, peer-review and standard scientific research design. Among the well-documented effects of HAI in humans of different ages, with and without special medical or mental health conditions are benefits for: social attention, social behavior, interpersonal interactions and mood; stress-related parameters such as cortisol, heart rate, and blood pressure; self-reported fear and anxiety; and mental and physical health, especially cardiovascular diseases. Limited evidence exists for positive effects of HAI on: reduction of stress-related parameters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine; improvement of immune system functioning and pain management; increased trustworthiness of and trust towards other persons; reduced aggression; enhanced empathy and improved learning. We propose that the activation of the oxytocin system plays a key role in the majority of these reported psychological and psychophysiological effects of HAI. Oxytocin and HAI effects largely overlap, as documented by research in both, humans and animals, and first studies found that HAI affects the oxytocin system. As a common underlying mechanism, the activation of the oxytocin system does not only provide an explanation, but also allows an integrative view of the different effects of HAI.

  15. Amniotic oxytocin and vasopressin in relation to human fetal development and labour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterbaan, H. P.; Swaab, D. F.

    1989-01-01

    Previous experiments in rats revealed increased amniotic oxytocin (OXT) levels in the course of normal development and increased vasopressin (AVP) levels in retarded fetal growth. In order to see whether similar changes would also occur in human, OXT and AVP levels were determined in amniotic fluid,

  16. Recommendations for the standardisation of oxytocin nasal administration and guidelines for its reporting in human research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guastella, Adam J; Hickie, Ian B; McGuinness, Margaret M; Otis, Melissa; Woods, Elizabeth A; Disinger, Hannah M; Chan, Hak-Kim; Chen, Timothy F; Banati, Richard B

    2013-05-01

    A series of studies have reported on the salubrious effects of oxytocin nasal spray on social cognition and behavior in humans, across physiology (e.g., eye gaze, heart rate variability), social cognition (e.g., attention, memory, and appraisal), and behavior (e.g., trust, generosity). Findings suggest the potential of oxytocin nasal spray as a treatment for various psychopathologies, including autism and schizophrenia. There are, however, increasing reports of variability of response to oxytocin nasal spray between experiments and individuals. In this review, we provide a summary of factors that influence transmucosal nasal drug delivery, deposition, and their impact on bioavailability. These include variations in anatomy and resultant airflow dynamic, vascularisation, status of blood vessels, mode of spray application, gallenic formulation (including presence of uptake enhancers, control release formulation), and amount and method of administration. These key variables are generally poorly described and controlled in scientific reports, in spite of their potential to alter the course of treatment outcome studies. Based on this review, it should be of no surprise that differences emerge across individuals and experiments when nasal drug delivery methods are employed. We present recommendations for researchers to use when developing and administering the spray, and guidelines for reporting on peptide nasal spray studies in humans. We hope that these recommendations assist in establishing a scientific standard that can improve the rigor and subsequent reliability of reported effects of oxytocin nasal spray in humans. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Navigating the complex path between the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR and cooperation: an endophenotype approach

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    Brian W. Haas

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Although cooperation represents a core facet of human social behavior there exists considerable variability across people in terms of the tendency to cooperate. One factor that may contribute to individual differences in cooperation is a key gene within the oxytocin system, the oxytocin reception gene (OXTR. In this article, we aim to bridge the gap between the OXTR gene and cooperation by using an endophenotype approach. We present evidence that the association between the OXTR gene and cooperation may in part be due to how the OXTR gene affects brain systems involved in emotion recognition, empathy/theory of mind, social communication and social reward seeking. There is evidence that the OXTR gene may influence the functional anatomy of the amygdala, visual cortex, anterior cingulate and superior temporal gyrus. However, it is currently unknown how the OXTR gene may be linked to the functional anatomy of other relevant brain regions that include the fusiform gyrus, superior temporal sulcus, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, temporoparietal junction and nucleus accumbens. We conclude by highlighting potential future research directions that may elucidate the path between OXTR and complex behaviors such as cooperation.

  18. Oxytocin and social cognition in rhesus macaques: implications for understanding and treating human psychopathology.

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    Chang, Steve W C; Platt, Michael L

    2014-09-11

    Converging evidence from humans and non-human animals indicates that the neurohypophysial hormone oxytocin (OT) evolved to serve a specialized function in social behavior in mammals. Although OT-based therapies are currently being evaluated as remedies for social deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders, precisely how OT regulates complex social processes remains largely unknown. Here we describe how a non-human primate model can be used to understand the mechanisms by which OT regulates social cognition and thereby inform its clinical application in humans. We focus primarily on recent advances in our understanding of OT-mediated social cognition in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), supplemented by discussion of recent work in humans, other primates, and rodents. Together, these studies endorse the hypothesis that OT promotes social exploration both by amplifying social motivation and by attenuating social vigilance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin and Social Behav. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Oxytocin Pathway Genes: Evolutionary Ancient System Impacting on Human Affiliation, Sociality, and Psychopathology.

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    Feldman, Ruth; Monakhov, Mikhail; Pratt, Maayan; Ebstein, Richard P

    2016-02-01

    Oxytocin (OT), a nonapeptide signaling molecule originating from an ancestral peptide, appears in different variants across all vertebrate and several invertebrate species. Throughout animal evolution, neuropeptidergic signaling has been adapted by organisms for regulating response to rapidly changing environments. The family of OT-like molecules affects both peripheral tissues implicated in reproduction, homeostasis, and energy balance, as well as neuromodulation of social behavior, stress regulation, and associative learning in species ranging from nematodes to humans. After describing the OT-signaling pathway, we review research on the three genes most extensively studied in humans: the OT receptor (OXTR), the structural gene for OT (OXT/neurophysin-I), and CD38. Consistent with the notion that sociality should be studied from the perspective of social life at the species level, we address human social functions in relation to OT-pathway genes, including parenting, empathy, and using social relationships to manage stress. We then describe associations between OT-pathway genes with psychopathologies involving social dysfunctions such as autism, depression, or schizophrenia. Human research particularly underscored the involvement of two OXTR single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs53576, rs2254298) with fewer studies focusing on other OXTR (rs7632287, rs1042778, rs2268494, rs2268490), OXT (rs2740210, rs4813627, rs4813625), and CD38 (rs3796863, rs6449197) single nucleotide polymorphisms. Overall, studies provide evidence for the involvement of OT-pathway genes in human social functions but also suggest that factors such as gender, culture, and early environment often confound attempts to replicate first findings. We conclude by discussing epigenetics, conceptual implications within an evolutionary perspective, and future directions, especially the need to refine phenotypes, carefully characterize early environments, and integrate observations of social behavior across

  20. Association between the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene and children's social cognition at 18 months.

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    Wade, M; Hoffmann, T J; Wigg, K; Jenkins, J M

    2014-09-01

    At 18 months, children engage in a variety of social behaviors that reflect their nascent ability to understand the intentions of other people (e.g. joint attention, empathy, cooperation and self-recognition). Although numerous contextual factors have been shown to predict social cognition in young children, the genetic underpinnings of social-cognitive traits has been understudied in this age group. Owing to the known effects of oxytocin on adult social cognition and psychopathology, this study hypothesized that variability in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) would be associated with social cognition in children at 18 months. Participants consisted of 350 children (182 males; 168 females) who were part of an ongoing longitudinal study that aimed to assess environmental and genetic contributions to children's cognitive and socio-emotional functioning. At 18 months, social cognition was measured using previously validated and developmentally sensitive tasks assessing children's joint attention, empathy, cooperation and self-recognition. Five potentially functional OXTR variants were genotyped: rs1042778, rs2254298, rs11131149, rs237897 and rs237899. A family-based association design was used to control for population admixture and stratification, and additional non-genomic covariates were controlled. Results showed that variability in rs11131149 was significantly associated with social cognition (P=0.009), with more copies of the major allele related to higher social cognition, and more copies of the minor (risk) allele associated with lower social cognition. A haplotype consisting of rs11131149-rs2254298 was also associated with social cognition (P=0.020). Implications for normative and pathological development are discussed, and key areas for future research are proposed. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  1. Intergenerational transmission of alloparental behavior and oxytocin and vasopressin receptor distribution in the prairie vole

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    Allison M Perkeybile

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Variation in the early environment has the potential to permanently alter offspring behavior and development. We have previously shown that naturally occurring variation in biparental care of offspring in the prairie vole is related to differences in social behavior of the offspring. It was not, however, clear whether the behavioral differences seen between offspring receiving high compared to low amounts of parental care were the result of different care experiences or were due to shared genetics with their high-contact or low-contact parents. Here we use cross-fostering methods to determine the mode of transmission of alloparental behavior and oxytocin receptor (OTR and vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR binding from parent to offspring. Offspring were cross-fostered or in-fostered on postnatal day 1 and parental care received was quantified in the first week postpartum. At weaning, offspring underwent an alloparental care test and brains were then collected from all parents and offspring to examine OTR and V1aR binding. Results indicate that alloparental behavior of offspring was predicted by the parental behavior of their rearing parents. Receptor binding for both OTR and V1aR tended to be predicted by the genetic mothers for female offspring and by the genetic fathers for male offspring. These findings suggest a different role of early experience and genetics in shaping behavior compared to receptor distribution and support the notion of sex-dependent outcomes, particularly in the transmission of receptor binding patterns.

  2. Melanin concentrating hormone modulates oxytocin-mediated marble burying.

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    Sanathara, Nayna M; Garau, Celia; Alachkar, Amal; Wang, Lien; Wang, Zhiwei; Nishimori, Katsuhiko; Xu, Xiangmin; Civelli, Olivier

    2018-01-01

    Repetitive and perseverative behaviors are common features of a number of neuropsychiatric diseases such as Angelman's syndrome, Tourette's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and autism spectrum disorders. The oxytocin system has been linked to the regulation of repetitive behavior in both animal models and humans, but many of its downstream targets have still to be found. We report that the melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) system is a target of the oxytocin system in regulating one repetitive behavior, marble burying. First we report that nearly 60% of MCH neurons express oxytocin receptors, and demonstrate using rabies mediated tract tracing that MCH neurons receive direct presynaptic input from oxytocin neurons. Then we show that MCH receptor knockout (MCHR1KO) mice and MCH ablated animals display increased marble burying response while central MCH infusion decreases it. Finally, we demonstrate the downstream role of the MCH system on oxytocin mediated marble burying by showing that central infusions of MCH and oxytocin alone or together reduce it while antagonizing the MCH system blocks oxytocin-mediated reduction of this behavior. Our findings reveal a novel role for the MCH system as a mediator of the role of oxytocin in regulating marble-burying behavior in mice. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Socioeconomic Disparities in Childhood Obesity Risk: Association With an Oxytocin Receptor Polymorphism.

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    Bush, Nicole R; Allison, Amber L; Miller, Alison L; Deardorff, Julianna; Adler, Nancy E; Boyce, W Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Pediatricians are paying increased attention to the effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on children's health. Low SES is a robust predictor of obesity across the life course and may interact with genes affecting metabolism to influence obesity risk. Recent animal literature and burgeoning human research suggest that the hormone oxytocin (OT) may be important for metabolic regulation. To date, this association has not been examined in children. To examine whether an OT receptor polymorphism (rs53576) interacts with SES, potentially exacerbating and buffering the effects of stress, to predict anthropometry during childhood, and based on differential neurobiological susceptibility theory, to test whether carriers of the A allele of the OXTR gene, compared with GG genotyped individuals, would be most sensitive to the effects of SES on anthropometry for better or for worse. In this observational study, families were recruited from public school classrooms and enrolled in the Peers and Wellness Study (PAWS), which examined the effects of social status on health. Families were assessed during children's kindergarten year (fall semester of 2003, 2004, and 2005) and again during middle childhood (2009-2011) for a follow-up assessment that included anthropometric measures and DNA collection. The dates of the analysis were January 2015 to June 2016. Socioeconomic disparities. Child body mass index z score (BMIz) and triceps skinfold thickness. Family SES was collected through questionnaires mailed to homes. Body measurements and DNA were collected in homes by trained research assistants. From the original community sample of 338 typically developing children, participants were 186 socioeconomically and racially/ethnically diverse children (mean age, 10.3 years; age range, 9.4-11.3 years; 93 females [50%]) who had sufficient data at the follow-up assessment for inclusion in this study. Among 97 A allele carriers, a 1-SD increase in SES was associated with a decrease in BMIz

  4. Cumulative Risk on the Oxytocin Receptor Gene (OXTR) Predicts Empathic Communication by Physician Assistant Students.

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    Floyd, Kory; Generous, Mark Alan; Clark, Lou; McLeod, Ian; Simon, Albert

    2017-10-01

    In the relationship between patients and health care providers, few communicative features are as significant as the providers' ability to express empathy. A robust empirical literature describes the importance of physician communication skills-particularly those that convey empathy-yet few studies have examined empathic communication by physician assistants, who provide primary care for an increasing number of Americans. The present study examines the empathic communication of physician assistant students in interactions with standardized patients. Over a 6-month period, each student conducted three clinical interviews, each of which was evaluated for empathic communication by the patients, the students' clinical instructors, and third-party observers. Students also provided saliva samples for genotyping six single-nucleotide polymorphisms on the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) that are linked empirically to empathic behavior. Consistent with recent research, this study adopted a cumulative risk approach wherein students were scored for their number of risky alleles on the single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Results indicated that cumulative risk on OXTR receptor gene predicted lower patient empathy scores as rated by instructors and observers, but not by standardized patients.

  5. Neuroanatomical distribution of oxytocin receptor binding in the female rabbit forebrain: Variations across the reproductive cycle.

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    Jiménez, Angeles; Young, Larry J; Triana-Del Río, Rodrigo; LaPrairie, Jamie L; González-Mariscal, Gabriela

    2015-12-10

    Oxytocin receptors (OTR) have been characterized in the brains of several mammals, including rodents, carnivores, and primates. Their species-specific distribution in the brain has been associated with species differences in social organization, including mating strategy and parenting behavior. In several species, the density of OTR binding in specific brain regions varies according to reproductive condition, including ovarian cycle, pregnancy and lactation. Rabbits are induced ovulators, polygamous, and monoparental but their distribution and regulation of brain OTR has not been described. Here we used receptor autoradiography to quantitatively characterize OTR binding in the brains of estrous, ovariectomized, late pregnant, and lactating does. Intense binding occurred in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), preoptic area (POA), lateral septum (LS; dorsal and ventral), hippocampus, and medial amygdala. Variations among the experimental groups were seen only in PFC, POA, LS. Ovariectomy increased OTR density in PFC but had the opposite effect in POA. Lactating does had significantly reduced OTR density, relative to late pregnancy, in PFC and POA. Our results are consistent with a possible role of OT in modulating social and maternal behavior in rabbits since the brain regions sensitive to OT have been implicated in social interaction, learning and memory, olfactory processing and maternal behavior. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Localization of oxytocin receptors in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) neocortex.

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    Duchemin, Auriane; Seelke, Adele M H; Simmons, Trenton C; Freeman, Sara M; Bales, Karen L

    2017-04-21

    Early experience and social context interact to alter the phenotype of complex social behaviors. These early experiences can also result in alterations to cortical organization and connections. Given the ability of the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) to modulate social and reproductive behavior, OT is likely involved in these cortical processes. However, little is known about the distribution of OT and OT receptors (OTR) within the neocortex. Using autoradiographic and neuroanatomical techniques, we characterized the cortical distribution of OT receptors (OTR) in prairie voles, a socially monogamous rodent species. We found that OTR density was low in the primary sensory areas (including primary somatosensory and auditory regions) but was quite high in association regions (including temporal and parietal association areas, and prelimbic regions). In the primary motor area as well as the temporal and parietal association areas, we observed differences in OTR density across cortical layers. Specifically, cortical layers 2/3 and 5 exhibited greater OTR density than layer 4. Our results point to a role for OT in integrating sensory and motor in the prairie vole brain, providing a complementary mechanism for the modulation of social interactions. Given the ability of early social experience and developmental manipulations of OT to affect the brain and behavior, these results suggest a novel mechanism for how OT may influence cortical organization. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Inhibitory effects of oxytocin and oxytocin receptor antagonist atosiban on the activities of carbonic anhydrase and acetylcholinesterase enzymes in the liver and kidney tissues of rats.

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    Kocyigit, Umit M; Taşkıran, Ahmet Şevki; Taslimi, Parham; Yokuş, Ahmet; Temel, Yusuf; Gulçin, İlhami

    2017-11-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of oxytocin (OT), atosiban, which is an OT receptor antagonist, and OT-atosiban chemicals injected to rats on the activities of carbonic anhydrase (CA) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) enzymes in liver and kidney tissues of rats. For this purpose, four different groups, each consisting of six rats (n = 6), were formed (control group, OT administered group, atosiban administered group, and both OT and atosiban administered group). The rats were necropsied 60 min after intraperitoneal injection of chemicals into the rats. Liver tissues of rats were extracted. CA and AChE enzyme activities were measured for each tissue by using hydratase, esterase, and acetylcholiniodide methods. Activity values for each enzyme obtained were statistically calculated. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Oxytocin - a multifunctional analgesic for chronic deep tissue pain.

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    Goodin, Burel R; Ness, Timothy J; Robbins, Meredith T

    2015-01-01

    The treatment of chronic pain arising from deep tissues is currently inadequate and there is need for new pharmacological agents to provide analgesia. The endogenous paracrine hormone/neurotransmitter oxytocin is intimately involved in the modulation of multiple physiological and psychological functions. Recent experiments have given clear evidence for a role of oxytocin in the modulation of nociception. The present article reviews the existent human and basic science data related to the direct and indirect effects of oxytocin on pain. Due to its analgesic, anxiolytic, antidepressant and other central nervous system effects, there is strong evidence that oxytocin and other drugs acting through the oxytocin receptor could act as multifunctional analgesics with unique therapeutic value.

  9. Life in groups: the roles of oxytocin in mammalian sociality

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    Allison eAnacker

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, scientific understanding of the many roles of oxytocin in social behavior has advanced tremendously. The focus of this research has been on maternal attachments and reproductive pair-bonds, and much less is known about the substrates of sociality outside of reproductive contexts. It is now apparent that oxytocin influences many aspects of social behavior including recognition, trust, empathy, and other components of the behavioral repertoire of social species. This review provides a comparative perspective on the contributions of oxytocin to life in mammalian social groups. We provide background on the functions of oxytocin in maternal attachments and the early social environment, and give an overview of the role of oxytocin circuitry in support of different mating systems. We then introduce peer relationships in group-living rodents as a means for studying the importance of oxytocin in non-reproductive affiliative behaviors. We review species differences in oxytocin receptor distributions in solitary and group-living species of South American tuco-tucos and in African mole-rats, as well as singing mice. We discuss variation in oxytocin receptor levels with seasonal changes in social behavior in female meadow voles, and the effects of oxytocin manipulations on peer huddling behavior. Finally, we discuss avenues of promise for future investigation, and relate current findings to research in humans and non-human primates. There is growing evidence that oxytocin is involved in social selectivity, including increases in aggression toward social outgroups and decreased huddling with unfamiliar individuals, which may support existing social structures or relationships at the expense of others. Oxytocin’s effects reach beyond maternal attachment and pair bonds to play a role in affiliative behavior underlying friendships, organization of broad social structures, and maintenance of established social relationships with individuals

  10. Human-lamb bonding: oxytocin, cortisol and behavioural responses of lambs to human contacts and social separation.

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    Coulon, Marjorie; Nowak, Raymond; Andanson, Stéphane; Ravel, Christine; Marnet, Pierre Guy; Boissy, Alain; Boivin, Xavier

    2013-04-01

    Friendly interactions between humans and animals such as gentling or petting have been shown to have positive behavioural and physiological consequences in many species. In primates, rodents and dogs, oxytocin has been associated with tactile contact and anti-stress effects that may influence bonding and responses to stress situations. However the activation of the oxytocinergic system in other human-animal interactions such as with herbivores, had not yet been studied. Sixteen female lambs were reared by artificial feeding reinforced with 3× 30 s daily stroking sessions. At 6 weeks of age, the test consisted in measuring first plasma oxytocin and cortisol responses in lambs during a first 6-min phase in the home pen where the familiar caregiver gently stroked the lamb, and then physiological and behavioural responses in a test pen during a 20-min - phase of social isolation followed by a 20-min - phase of reunion with its familiar caregiver. The lambs expressed behavioural agitation during the whole period of isolation. A strong affiliative response towards the human and a sustained reduction of the agitation behaviour were observed during reunion. Lambs' behaviours when isolated and when in contact with the human were correlated suggesting a response to social separation from the familiar caregiver more than to social isolation from congeners. No significant changes in cortisol levels were observed during the test. Oxytocin levels did not vary during human contact, but increased when the familiar caregiver left the lamb alone in the test pen. In conclusion, lambs displayed affiliative responses towards their caregiver, and the lack of cortisol response during isolation while oxytocin was released suggest an anti-stress effect of oxytocin. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Natural variation in maternal care and cross-tissue patterns of oxytocin receptor gene methylation in rats.

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    Beery, Annaliese K; McEwen, Lisa M; MacIsaac, Julia L; Francis, Darlene D; Kobor, Michael S

    2016-01-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Parental Care". Since the first report of maternal care effects on DNA methylation in rats, epigenetic modifications of the genome in response to life experience have become the subject of intense focus across many disciplines. Oxytocin receptor expression varies in response to early experience, and both oxytocin signaling and methylation status of the oxytocin receptor gene (Oxtr) in blood have been related to disordered social behavior. It is unknown whether Oxtr DNA methylation varies in response to early life experience, and whether currently employed peripheral measures of Oxtr methylation reflect variation in the brain. We examined the effects of early life rearing experience via natural variation in maternal licking and grooming during the first week of life on behavior, physiology, gene expression, and epigenetic regulation of Oxtr across blood and brain tissues (mononucleocytes, hippocampus, striatum, and hypothalamus). Rats reared by "high" licking-grooming (HL) and "low" licking-grooming (LL) rat dams exhibited differences across study outcomes: LL offspring were more active in behavioral arenas, exhibited lower body mass in adulthood, and showed reduced corticosterone responsivity to a stressor. Oxtr DNA methylation was significantly lower at multiple CpGs in the blood of LL versus HL males, but no differences were found in the brain. Across groups, Oxtr transcript levels in the hypothalamus were associated with reduced corticosterone secretion in response to stress, congruent with the role of oxytocin signaling in this region. Methylation of specific CpGs at a high or low level was consistent across tissues, especially within the brain. However, individual variation in DNA methylation relative to these global patterns was not consistent across tissues. These results suggest that blood Oxtr DNA methylation may reflect early experience of maternal care, and that Oxtr methylation across tissues is highly concordant

  12. Sexually dimorphic effects of oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR variants on Harm Avoidance

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    Stankova Trayana

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent research has suggested that oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR variants may account for individual differences in social behavior, the effects of stress and parenting styles. Little is known, however, on a putative role of the gene in heritable temperamental traits. Methods We addressed effects of two common OXTR variants, rs237900 and rs237902, on personality dimensions in 99 healthy subjects using the Temperament and Character Inventory. Results When sex was controlled for and an OXTR genotype*sex interaction term was included in the regression model, 11% of the variance in Harm Avoidance could be explained (uncorrected p ≤ 0.01. Female carriers of the minor alleles scored highest, and a novel A217T mutation emerged in the most harm avoidant male participant. Conclusions Findings lend support to a modulatory effect of common OXTR variants on Harm Avoidance in healthy caucasian women and invite resequencing of the gene in anxiety phenotypes to identify more explanatory functional variation.

  13. Social cognition, face processing, and oxytocin receptor single nucleotide polymorphisms in typically developing children

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    Mylissa M. Slane

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent research has provided evidence of a link between behavioral measures of social cognition (SC and neural and genetic correlates. Differences in face processing and variations in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene have been associated with SC deficits and autism spectrum disorder (ASD traits. Much work has examined the qualitative differences between those with ASD and typically developing (TD individuals, but very little has been done to quantify the natural variation in ASD-like traits in the typical population. The present study examines this variation in TD children using a multidimensional perspective involving behavior assessment, neural electroencephalogram (EEG testing, and OXTR genotyping. Children completed a series of neurocognitive assessments, provided saliva samples for sequencing, and completed a face processing task while connected to an EEG. No clear pattern emerged for EEG covariates or genotypes for individual OXTR single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs. However, SNPs rs2254298 and rs53576 consistently interacted such that the AG/GG allele combination of these SNPs was associated with poorer performance on neurocognitive measures. These results suggest that neither SNP in isolation is risk-conferring, but rather that the combination of rs2254298(A/G and rs53576(G/G confers a deleterious effect on SC across several neurocognitive measures.

  14. Variation in oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphisms is associated with emotional and behavioral reactions to betrayal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabak, Benjamin A; McCullough, Michael E; Carver, Charles S; Pedersen, Eric J; Cuccaro, Michael L

    2014-06-01

    Variations in the gene that encodes the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) have been associated with many aspects of social cognition as well as several prosocial behaviors. However, potential associations of OXTR variants with reactions to betrayals of trust while cooperating for mutual benefit have not yet been explored. We examined how variations in 10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms on OXTR were associated with behavior and emotional reactions after a betrayal of trust in an iterated Prisoner's Dilemma Game. After correction for multiple testing, one haplotype (C-rs9840864, T-rs2268494) was significantly associated with faster retaliation post-betrayal-an association that appeared to be due to this haplotype's intermediate effect of exacerbating people's anger after they had been betrayed. Furthermore, a second haplotype (A-rs237887, C-rs2268490) was associated with higher levels of post-betrayal satisfaction, and a third haplotype (G-rs237887, C-rs2268490) was associated with lower levels of post-betrayal satisfaction. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Estrogen and oxytocin receptors in the canine corpus luteum during pregnancy and parturition

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    Gisele Almeida Lima Veiga

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The expression of genes encoding the receptors for estrogen (ERαmRNA and oxytocin (OTRmRNA was studied in the corpus luteum during pregnancy and parturition in dogs. Real-time PCR was performed to quantify the levels of ERαmRNA and OTRmRNA in the corpus luteum of bitches during Early (up to 20 days of gestation, Mid (20 to 40 days and Late Pregnancy (40 to 60 days, and Parturition (first stage of labor. The corpus luteum expressed mRNA for OTR, however ERα mRNA was not detected. There was a reduction of OTR mRNA expression in the corpus luteum from gestational Day 20 onward, which suggests an important role of OTR mRNA in the mechanism of pregnancy recognition in dogs. We concluded that the expression of OTR mRNA in canine corpus luteum vary over time, which support the idea that the sensitivity and response to hormone therapy can vary along the course of pregnancy and labor. Moreover, the canine CL lacks ERα mRNA expression during pregnancy.

  16. Variation in DNA methylation of the oxytocin receptor gene predicts children's resilience to prenatal stress.

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    Milaniak, Izabela; Cecil, Charlotte A M; Barker, Edward D; Relton, Caroline L; Gaunt, Tom R; McArdle, Wendy; Jaffee, Sara R

    2017-12-01

    Emerging research in epigenetics has shown that there is variability in how environmental exposures "get under the skin" through mechanisms like DNA methylation to influence gene expression that may lead to differential adaptations to stress. This is the first study to examine prospectively the relationship between DNA methylation at birth and resilience to prenatal environmental stressors in several domains (conduct, hyperactivity, emotional problems, and global symptomatology) in middle childhood. We focused on DNA methylation in the vicinity of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene as it has been previously associated with impairments in social-cognitive processes that may underlie a wide range of childhood psychopathology. Participants were 91 youth exposed to pre- and postnatal adversity with established conduct problem trajectories drawn from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Consistent with our hypothesis, OXTR DNA methylation was predictive of resilience in the conduct problems domain in middle childhood. DNA methylation profiles did not predict resilience in domains of emotional, hyperactivity, and global symptomatology, suggesting a potential role for OXTR in the development of conduct problems in particular. However, individuals who were resilient to conduct problems were also broadly resilient across multiple domains. Therefore, future research should elucidate the biological pathways between OXTR DNA methylation and gene expression and its relation to impairments in social behavior.

  17. The role of oxytocin in relationships between dogs and humans and potential applications for the treatment of separation anxiety in dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thielke, Lauren E; Udell, Monique A R

    2017-02-01

    The hormone oxytocin plays an important role in attachment formation and bonding between humans and domestic dogs. Recent research has led to increased interest in potential applications for intranasal oxytocin to aid with the treatment of psychological disorders in humans. While a few studies have explored the effects of intranasally administered oxytocin on social cognition and social bonding in dogs, alternative applications have not yet been explored for the treatment of behavioural problems in this species. One potentially important application for intranasal oxytocin in dogs could be the treatment of separation anxiety, a common attachment disorder in dogs. Here we provide an overview of what is known about the role of oxytocin in the human-dog bond and canine separation anxiety, and discuss considerations for future research looking to integrate oxytocin into behavioural treatment based on recent findings from both the human and dog literature. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  18. Oxytocin Injection

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    Oxytocin injection is used to begin or improve contractions during labor. Oxytocin also is used to reduce bleeding after childbirth. ... other medications or procedures to end a pregnancy. Oxytocin is in a class of medications called oxytocic ...

  19. Uterine and placental expression of canine oxytocin receptor during pregnancy and normal and induced parturition.

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    Gram, A; Boos, A; Kowalewski, M P

    2014-06-01

    Oxytocin (OT) plays an important role as an inducer of uterine contractility, acting together with its receptor (OTR) to increase synthesis of prostaglandins. Although OT is commonly used in the treatment for dystocia and uterine inertia in the bitch, little attention has been paid to the role of OT in mechanisms regulating parturition in the dog, so that knowledge about the expression of OTR in the canine uterus and placenta is sparse. Consequently, the expression and cellular localization of OTR were investigated in canine utero/placental compartments and interplacental sites throughout pregnancy and at normal and antigestagen-induced parturition, by real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, western blot and in situ hybridization. The utero/placental and interplacental expression of OTR was constant from pre-implantation until mid-gestation, with a significant increase observed at prepartum luteolysis. In antigestagen-treated mid-pregnant dogs, OTR was upregulated in both interplacental and utero/placental samples. Besides clear myometrial signals, cellular localization of OTR was evident in the endometrial surface epithelial, stromal and vascular endothelial cells. Weaker signals were observed in superficial and deep uterine glandular epithelial cells. Placental OTR was localized in maternal decidual cells and capillary pericytes. Finally, OTR was colocalized with the progesterone receptor (PGR) in maternal decidual cells, coinciding with previously reported increased availability of prostaglandins in the foetal part of the placenta during normal and induced parturition. These findings suggest involvement of OTR in the signalling cascade leading to the prepartum release of prostaglandins from the pregnant canine uterus. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  20. Oxytocin receptor binding sites in the periphery of the neonatal mouse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria A Greenwood

    Full Text Available Oxytocin (OXT is a pleiotropic regulator of physiology and behavior. An emerging body of evidence demonstrates a role for OXT in the transition to postnatal life of the infant. To identify potential sites of OXT action via the OXT receptor (OXTR in the newborn mouse, we performed receptor autoradiography on 20 μm sagittal sections of whole postnatal day 0 male and female mice on a C57BL/6J background using the 125iodinated ornithine vasotocin analog ([125I]-OVTA radioligand. A competitive binding assay on both wild-type (WT and OXTR knockout (OXTR KO tissue was used to assess the selectivity of [125I]-OVTA for neonatal OXTR. Radioactive ligand (0.05 nM [125I]-OVTA was competed against concentrations of 0 nM, 10 nM, and 1000 nM excess unlabeled OXT. Autoradiographs demonstrated the high selectivity of the radioligand for infant peripheral OXTR. Specific ligand binding activity for OXTR was observed in the oronasal cavity, the eye, whisker pads, adrenal gland, and anogenital region in the neonatal OXTR WT mouse, but was absent in neonatal OXTR KO. Nonspecific binding was observed in areas with a high lipid content such as the scapular brown adipose tissue and the liver: in these regions, binding was present in both OXTR WT and KO mice, and could not be competed away with OXT in either WT or KO mice. Collectively, these data confirm novel OXT targets in the periphery of the neonate. These peripheral OXTR sites, coupled with the immaturity of the neonate's own OXT system, suggest a role for exogenous OXT in modulating peripheral physiology and development.

  1. The Way Dogs (Canis familiaris Look at Human Emotional Faces Is Modulated by Oxytocin. An Eye-Tracking Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Kis

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Dogs have been shown to excel in reading human social cues, including facial cues. In the present study we used eye-tracking technology to further study dogs’ face processing abilities. It was found that dogs discriminated between human facial regions in their spontaneous viewing pattern and looked most to the eye region independently of facial expression. Furthermore dogs played most attention to the first two images presented, afterwards their attention dramatically decreases; a finding that has methodological implications. Increasing evidence indicates that the oxytocin system is involved in dogs’ human-directed social competence, thus as a next step we investigated the effects of oxytocin on processing of human facial emotions. It was found that oxytocin decreases dogs’ looking to the human faces expressing angry emotional expression. More interestingly, however, after oxytocin pre-treatment dogs’ preferential gaze toward the eye region when processing happy human facial expressions disappears. These results provide the first evidence that oxytocin is involved in the regulation of human face processing in dogs. The present study is one of the few empirical investigations that explore eye gaze patterns in naïve and untrained pet dogs using a non-invasive eye-tracking technique and thus offers unique but largely untapped method for studying social cognition in dogs.

  2. Variation in the oxytocin receptor gene is associated with behavioral and neural correlates of empathic accuracy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laursen, Helle Ruff; Siebner, Hartwig Roman; Haren, Tina

    2014-01-01

    The neuromodulators oxytocin and serotonin have been implicated in regulating affective processes underlying empathy. Understanding this dependency, however, has been limited by a lack of objective metrics for measuring empathic performance. Here we employ a novel psychophysical method for measur...

  3. Cumulative risk on the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) underpins empathic communication difficulties at the first stages of romantic love

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneiderman, Inna; Kanat-Maymon, Yaniv; Ebstein, Richard P.

    2014-01-01

    Empathic communication between couples plays an important role in relationship quality and individual well-being and research has pointed to the role of oxytocin in providing the neurobiological substrate for pair-bonding and empathy. Here, we examined links between genetic variability on the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and empathic behaviour at the initiation of romantic love. Allelic variations on five OXTR single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with susceptibility to disorders of social functioning were genotyped in 120 new lovers: OXTRrs13316193, rs2254298, rs1042778, rs2268494 and rs2268490. Cumulative genetic risk was computed by summing risk alleles on each SNP. Couples were observed in support-giving interaction and behaviour was coded for empathic communication, including affective congruence, maintaining focus on partner, acknowledging partner's distress, reciprocal exchange and non-verbal empathy. Hierarchical linear modelling indicated that individuals with high OXTR risk exhibited difficulties in empathic communication. OXTR risk predicted empathic difficulties above and beyond the couple level, relationship duration, and anxiety and depressive symptoms. Findings underscore the involvement of oxytocin in empathic behaviour during the early stages of social affiliation, and suggest the utility of cumulative risk and plasticity indices on the OXTR as potential biomarkers for research on disorders of social dysfunction and the neurobiology of empathy. PMID:23974948

  4. Cumulative risk on the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) underpins empathic communication difficulties at the first stages of romantic love.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneiderman, Inna; Kanat-Maymon, Yaniv; Ebstein, Richard P; Feldman, Ruth

    2014-10-01

    Empathic communication between couples plays an important role in relationship quality and individual well-being and research has pointed to the role of oxytocin in providing the neurobiological substrate for pair-bonding and empathy. Here, we examined links between genetic variability on the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and empathic behaviour at the initiation of romantic love. Allelic variations on five OXTR single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with susceptibility to disorders of social functioning were genotyped in 120 new lovers: OXTRrs13316193, rs2254298, rs1042778, rs2268494 and rs2268490. Cumulative genetic risk was computed by summing risk alleles on each SNP. Couples were observed in support-giving interaction and behaviour was coded for empathic communication, including affective congruence, maintaining focus on partner, acknowledging partner's distress, reciprocal exchange and non-verbal empathy. Hierarchical linear modelling indicated that individuals with high OXTR risk exhibited difficulties in empathic communication. OXTR risk predicted empathic difficulties above and beyond the couple level, relationship duration, and anxiety and depressive symptoms. Findings underscore the involvement of oxytocin in empathic behaviour during the early stages of social affiliation, and suggest the utility of cumulative risk and plasticity indices on the OXTR as potential biomarkers for research on disorders of social dysfunction and the neurobiology of empathy. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Social instability stress in adolescent male rats reduces social interaction and social recognition performance and increases oxytocin receptor binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, Travis E; Baumbach, Jennet L; Marcolin, Marina L; Bredewold, Remco; Veenema, Alexa H; McCormick, Cheryl M

    2017-09-17

    Social experiences in adolescence are essential for displaying context-appropriate social behaviors in adulthood. We previously found that adult male rats that underwent social instability stress (SS) in adolescence had reduced social interactions with unfamiliar peers compared with non-stressed controls (CTL). Here we determined whether SS altered social recognition and social reward and brain oxytocin and vasopressin receptor density in adolescence. We confirmed that SS rats spent less time interacting with unfamiliar peers than did CTL rats (p=0.006). Furthermore, CTL rats showed a preference for novel over familiar conspecifics in a social recognition test whereas SS rats did not, which may reflect reduced recognition, impaired memory, or reduced preference for novelty in SS rats. The reward value of social interactions was not affected by SS based on conditioned place preference tests and based on the greater time SS rats spent investigating stimulus rats than did CTL rats when the stimulus rat was behind wire mesh (p=0.03). Finally, oxytocin receptor binding density was higher in the dorsal lateral septum and nucleus accumbens shell in SS rats compared with CTL rats (p=0.02, p=0.01, respectively). No effect of SS was found for vasopressin 1a receptor binding density in any of the brain regions analyzed. We discuss the extent to which the differences in social behavior exhibited after social instability in adolescence involve changes in social salience and social competency, and the possibility that changes in oxytocin signaling in the brain underlie the differences in social behavior. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Effect of oxytocin receptor blockade on appetite for sugar is modified by social context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olszewski, Pawel K; Allen, Kerry; Levine, Allen S

    2015-03-01

    Research on oxytocin (OT) has yielded two seemingly unrelated sets of discoveries: OT has prosocial effects, and it elicits termination of feeding, especially of food rich in carbohydrates. Here we investigated whether OT's involvement in food intake is affected by the social context in mice, with particular focus on the role of dominance. We used two approaches: injections and gene expression analysis. We housed two males per cage and determined a dominant one. Then we injected a blood-brain barrier penetrant OT receptor antagonist L-368,899 in either dominant or subordinate animals and gave them 10-min access to a sucrose solution in the apparatus in which social exposure was modified and it ranged from none to unrestricted contact. L-368,899 increased the amount of consumed sugar in dominant mice regardless of whether these animals had access to sucrose in the non-social or social contexts (olfactory-derived or partial social exposure). The antagonist also increased the proportion of time that dominant mice spent drinking the sweet solution in the paradigm in which both mice had to share a single source of sucrose. L-368,899-treated subordinate mice consumed more sucrose solution than saline controls only when the environment in which sugar was presented was devoid of social cues related to the dominant animal. Finally, we investigated whether hypothalamic OT gene expression differs between dominant and subordinate mice consuming sugar and found OT mRNA levels to be higher in dominant mice. We conclude that social context and dominance affect OT's effect on appetite for sucrose. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Impairments in the initiation of maternal behavior in oxytocin receptor knockout mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan E Rich

    Full Text Available Oxytocin (Oxt acting through its single receptor subtype, the Oxtr, is important for the coordination of physiology and behavior associated with parturition and maternal care. Knockout mouse models have been helpful in exploring the contributions of Oxt to maternal behavior, including total body Oxt knockout (Oxt -/- mice, forebrain conditional Oxtr knockout (Oxtr FB/FB mice, and total body Oxtr knockout (Oxtr -/- mice. Since Oxtr -/- mice are unable to lactate, maternal behavior has only been examined in virgin females, or in dams within a few hours of parturition, and there have been no studies that have examined their anxiety-like and depression-like behavior following parturition. To improve our understanding of how the absence of Oxt signaling affects maternal behavior, mood and anxiety, we designed a study using Oxtr -/- mice that separated nursing behavior from other aspects of maternal care, such as licking and grooming by thelectomizing (i.e. removing the nipples of Oxtr +/+ mice and sham-thelectomizing Oxtr -/- mice, and pairing both genotypes with a wet nurse. We then measured pup abandonment, maternal behavior, and postpartum anxiety-like and depression-like behaviors. We hypothesized that genetic disruption of the Oxtr would impact maternal care, mood and anxiety. Specifically, we predicted that Oxtr -/- dams would have impaired maternal care and increased anxiety-like and depression-like behaviors in the postpartum period. We found that Oxtr -/- dams had significantly higher levels of pup abandonment compared to controls, which is consistent with previous work in Oxtr FB/FB mice. Interestingly, Oxtr -/- dams that initiated maternal care did not differ from wildtype controls in measures of maternal behavior. We also did not find any evidence of altered anxiety-like or depressive-like behavior in the postpartum period of Oxtr -/- dams. Thus, our data suggest that Oxt lowers the threshold for the initiation of maternal behavior.

  8. Effect of an oxytocin receptor antagonist (atosiban) on uterine electrical activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadar, Eran; Melamed, Nir; Aviram, Amir; Raban, Oded; Saltzer, Liat; Hiersch, Liran; Yogev, Yariv

    2013-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of atosiban (Tractocile; Ferring, Limhamn, Sweden), an oxytocin receptor antagonist, on uterine electrical activity in women with preterm labor and to determine whether this information can assist in the prediction of preterm delivery. Uterine electrical activity was recorded prospectively in 21 women with preterm labor before and during treatment with Tractocile and, for purpose of comparison, in 4 pregnant women without uterine contractions to set the baseline of uterine electrical activity in a quiescent uterus. Uterine activity was recorded with a noninvasive, 9-channel recorder with an electromyography amplifier and a 3-dimensional position sensor with an automatic data analyzer. Uterine electrical activity was quantified by an electrical uterine monitor (EUM) and measured in microwatts per second (μW/s). The overall pre-Tractocile EUM index was 3.43 ± 0.58 μW/s, which was significantly higher than baseline uterine activity in women without preterm contractions (2.3 ± 0.11 μW/s; P = .001). During the administration of Tractocile, the EUM index gradually decreased in a relatively constant rate from 3.43 ± 0.58 μW/s to 2.56 ± 0.88 μW/s after 330 minutes of continuous therapy (P uterine electrical activity in women with preterm labor. This information can provide more insight into the effects of tocolytic agents and to aid in the risk stratification of preterm delivery in women with preterm contractions. Copyright © 2013 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Time course of the estradiol-dependent induction of oxytocin receptor binding in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus of the rat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, A.E.; Ball, G.F.; Coirini, H.; Harbaugh, C.R.; McEwen, B.S.; Insel, T.R. (National Institute of Mental Health, Poolesville, MD (USA))

    1989-09-01

    Oxytocin (OT) transmission is involved in the steroid-dependent display of sexual receptivity in rats. One of the biochemical processes stimulated by the ovarian steroid 17 beta-estradiol (E2) that is relevant to reproduction is the induction of OT receptor binding in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN). The purpose of these experiments was to determine if E2-induced changes in OT receptor binding in the VMN occur within a time frame relevant to cyclic changes in ovarian steroid secretion. OT receptor binding was measured in the VMN of ovariectomized rats implanted for 0-96 h with E2-containing Silastic capsules. The rate of decay of OT receptor binding was measured in another group of animals 6-48 h after capsule removal. Receptors were labeled with the specific OT receptor antagonist ({sup 125}I)d(CH2)5(Tyr(Me)2,Thr4,Tyr-NH2(9))OVT, and binding was measured with quantitative autoradiographic methods. In addition, plasma E2 levels and uterine weights were assessed in animals from each treatment condition. Significant increases in E2-dependent OT receptor binding and uterine weight occurred within 24 h of steroid treatment. After E2 withdrawal, OT receptor binding and uterine weight decreased significantly within 24 h. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that steroid modulation of OT receptor binding is necessary for the induction of sexual receptivity.

  10. Effects of N-acetylimidazole on oxytocin binding in bovine mammary tissue

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, X.; Gorewit, R.C.; Currie, W.B. (Cornell Univ., Ithaca NY (USA))

    1990-01-01

    The effects of N-acetylimidazole on specific binding of oxytocin to microsomal fractions of bovine mammary gland were studied. N-acetylimidazole suppressed oxytocin binding, with time and concentration dependence. Decreased oxytocin binding activity appeared to be due to decreased affinity of the hormone for its receptor. Acetylation of oxytocin, rather than of oxytocin receptors, seemed to be responsible for the decreased binding.

  11. Developmental changes in hypothalamic oxytocin and oxytocin receptor mRNA expression and their sensitivity to fasting in male and female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuzaki, Toshiya; Iwasa, Takeshi; Munkhzaya, Munkhsaikhan; Tungalagsuvd, Altankhuu; Kawami, Takako; Murakami, Masahiro; Yamasaki, Mikio; Yamamoto, Yuri; Kato, Takeshi; Kuwahara, Akira; Yasui, Toshiyuki; Irahara, Minoru

    2015-04-01

    Oxytocin (OT) affects the central nervous system and is involved in a variety of social and non-social behaviors. Recently, the role played by OT in energy metabolism and its organizational effects on estrogen receptor alpha (ER-α) during the neonatal period have gained attention. In this study, the developmental changes in the hypothalamic mRNA levels of OT, the OT receptor (OTR), and ER-α were evaluated in male and female rats. In addition, the fasting-induced changes in the hypothalamic mRNA levels of OT and the OTR were evaluated. Hypothalamic explants were taken from postnatal day (PND) 10, 20, and 30 rats, and the mRNA level of each molecule was measured. Hypothalamic OT mRNA expression increased throughout the developmental period in both sexes. The rats' hypothalamic OTR mRNA levels were highest on PND 10 and decreased throughout the developmental period. In the male rats, the hypothalamic mRNA levels of ER-α were higher on PND 30 than on PND 10. On the other hand, no significant differences in hypothalamic ER-α mRNA expression were detected among the examined time points in the female rats, although hypothalamic ER-α mRNA expression tended to be higher on PND 30 than on PND 10. Significant positive correlations were detected between hypothalamic OT and ER-α mRNA expression in both the male and female rats. Hypothalamic OT mRNA expression was not affected by fasting at any of the examined time points in either sex. These results indicate that hypothalamic OT expression is not sensitive to fasting during the developmental period. In addition, as a positive correlation was detected between hypothalamic OT and ER-α mRNA expression, these two molecules might interact with each other to induce appropriate neuronal development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Current clinical practice employs the use of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), as biomarkers to appropriately select patients that would benefit from targeted therapy against these major molecular pathways of the disease. This study aims at ...

  13. The response of rat and human uterus to oxytocin from different gestational stages in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alotaibi, Mohammed F

    2017-01-01

    Oxytocin (OT) and oxytocin receptors (OTRs) play essential roles in parturition and the effect of OT on uterine contractility is greatly influenced by the expression of OTRs in myometrium. We investigated the effect of OT on uterine strips isolated from non-pregnant, late-pregnant, term-pregnant, and labouring rats and from labouring and non-labouring women. Longitudinal uterine strips (from each gestational stage) were dissected and mounted vertically in an organ bath setup system and challenged with 5 nM OT and the effect was investigated on uterine contractility. In other experiments, phospholipase C (PLC), prostaglandin H synthase-2 (PGHS-2), and calcium-activated chloride channels (CaCCs) were blocked and the effect of OT was tested in labouring rats. OT stimulated the labouring uterus with greater force compared to other gestations in rats and also augmented the uterine force in labouring women compared to the non-labouring. However, blocking the PLC, PGHS-2, and CaCCs significantly reduced the OT-induced force increase in labouring rats. These data suggest that as labour approaches, the sensitivity of the uterine tissues to OT is greatly enhanced concomitant with the increased expression of OTR to ensure strong and adequate uterine contractions essential for the normal delivery and to prevent the postpartum haemorrhage.

  14. Presence of relaxin-2, oxytocin and their receptors in uterosacral ligaments of pre-menopausal patients with and without pelvic organ prolapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schott, Sarah; Reisenauer, Christl; Busch, Christian

    2014-10-01

    Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a major health concern for women. Its pathophysiology is yet not fully understood. We reported an impaired functional state of the smooth muscle compartment in uterosacral ligaments from patients with POP, which was cholinergic, stimulated by oxytocin and modulated by relaxin-2. The current study investigated the presence of oxytocin and relaxin-2 and their receptors in the uterosacral ligament from POP/non-POP patients. Translational investigation on clinical samples. University hospital departments. Fourty-three samples of uterosacral ligament from pre-menopausal patients with (n = 20) and without POP (n = 23). Presence of relaxin-2, its receptors RXFP1 and RXFP2, and of oxytocin and its receptor were analysed by immunohistochemistry and classified using a staining score. Additionally, Western blot analysis was performed. Presence patterns with respect to POP and non-POP uterosacral ligament samples for pathophysiological understanding of POP. Relaxin-2, oxytocin and their receptors were expressed in endothelial cells, the smooth muscle compartment and vasa vasorum in the arteries and veins of the uterosacral ligament, in the smooth muscle compartment present in the ground reticulum and in nerves running through the uterosacral ligament. The presence level of relaxin-2 was higher in the uterosacral ligament of the POP cohort (p ligaments from patients with POP, suggesting a role of the relaxin system in the pathogenesis of POP and identifying the relaxin system as a potential therapeutic target for the pharmacological treatment of POP. © 2014 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  15. A critical review of the influence of oxytocin nasal spray on social cognition in humans: evidence and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guastella, Adam J; Graustella, Adam J; MacLeod, Colin

    2012-03-01

    The past eight years of research has demonstrated that oxytocin nasal spray has a significant impact on human social cognition. The aim of this review is to provide critical comment on the literature using an information-processing framework. We provide a summary of fundamental assumptions of information-processing models and highlight an impressive range of consistent findings that demonstrate the impact of oxytocin nasal spray on social information processing. These findings include that oxytocin nasal spray improves the early conceptual detection of affect from social cues and improves the accurate appraisal of affect from social cues at elaborate and strategic levels of processing. There is some evidence that these effects may be particularly powerful for positive social cues. This review comments on inconsistent results that have been reported. We argue that such inconsistencies can, in part, be explained by variability across experiments in the degree to which potential extraneous confounds have been controlled, the different methods upon which studies assessed cognition, and the extent to which the focus of investigation has been on group-based outcomes. Finally, we argue that sound cognitive experimental methods can provide powerful tools to identify markers of response to oxytocin nasal spray that can be integrated into more complex circuitry models. The identification of robust markers has particular value in predicting behavioral and therapeutic response to intervention. This should now be a major focus for future research. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and Social Behavior. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. Prosocial effects of oxytocin and clinical evidence for its therapeutic potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Striepens, Nadine; Kendrick, Keith M; Maier, Wolfgang; Hurlemann, René

    2011-10-01

    There has been unprecedented interest in the prosocial effects of the neuropeptide oxytocin in humans over the last decade. A range of studies has demonstrated correlations between basal oxytocin levels and the strength of social and bonding behaviors both in healthy individuals and in those suffering from psychiatric disorders. Mounting evidence suggests associations between polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor gene and prosocial behaviors and there may also be important epigenetic effects. Many studies have now reported a plethora of prosocial effects of intranasal application of oxytocin, including the domains of trust, generosity, socially reinforced learning, and emotional empathy. The main focus of this review will be to summarize human preclinical work and particularly the rapidly growing number of clinical studies which have identified important links between oxytocin and a wide range of psychiatric disorders, and have now started to directly assess its therapeutic potential. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Male anorgasmia treated with oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishak, Waguih William; Berman, Daniel S; Peters, Anne

    2008-04-01

    Introduction. This is a case report on male anorgasmia that was successfully treated with oxytocin. Oxytocin is increased during arousal and peaks during orgasm. More recently, a study on humans published in Nature has shown its value in social bonding, increasing trust, and enhancing the sense of well-being. Aim. To test the effectiveness of administering oxytocin in a case of treatment-resistant anorgasmia. Methods. The patient underwent a biopsychosocial evaluation by a psychiatrist trained in sexual medicine and sex therapy for male orgasmic disorder, acquired type. Medical conditions, effect of substances, and psychological issues were ruled out. The patient was properly consented to using oxytocin as an off-label trial. Oxytocin was administered using a nasal spray intracoitally because of its ultra-short half-life. Results. Oxytocin was effective in restoring ejaculation. Conclusions. A case of treatment-resistant male anorgasmia was successfully treated with intracoital administration of intranasal oxytocin.

  18. Development of a human vasopressin V1a-receptor antagonist from an evolutionary-related insect neuropeptide

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Giglio, Maria Giulia; Muttenthaler, Markus; Harpsøe, Kasper; Liutkeviciute, Zita; Keov, Peter; Eder, Thomas; Rattei, Thomas; Arrowsmith, Sarah; Wray, Susan; Marek, Ales; Elbert, Tomas; Alewood, Paul F.; Gloriam, David E.; Gruber, Christian W.

    2017-02-01

    Characterisation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) relies on the availability of a toolbox of ligands that selectively modulate different functional states of the receptors. To uncover such molecules, we explored a unique strategy for ligand discovery that takes advantage of the evolutionary conservation of the 600-million-year-old oxytocin/vasopressin signalling system. We isolated the insect oxytocin/vasopressin orthologue inotocin from the black garden ant (Lasius niger), identified and cloned its cognate receptor and determined its pharmacological properties on the insect and human oxytocin/vasopressin receptors. Subsequently, we identified a functional dichotomy: inotocin activated the insect inotocin and the human vasopressin V1b receptors, but inhibited the human V1aR. Replacement of Arg8 of inotocin by D-Arg8 led to a potent, stable and competitive V1aR-antagonist ([D-Arg8]-inotocin) with a 3,000-fold binding selectivity for the human V1aR over the other three subtypes, OTR, V1bR and V2R. The Arg8/D-Arg8 ligand-pair was further investigated to gain novel insights into the oxytocin/vasopressin peptide-receptor interaction, which led to the identification of key residues of the receptors that are important for ligand functionality and selectivity. These observations could play an important role for development of oxytocin/vasopressin receptor modulators that would enable clear distinction of the physiological and pathological responses of the individual receptor subtypes.

  19. A paradoxical association of an oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism: Early-life adversity and vulnerability to depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robyn Jane McQuaid

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Several prosocial behaviors may be influenced by the hormone oxytocin. In line with this perspective, the oxytocin receptor (OXTR gene single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, rs53576, has been associated with a broad range of social behaviors. In this regard, the G allele of the OXTR SNP has been accompanied by beneficial attributes such as increased empathy, optimism and trust. In the current study among university students (N = 288, it was shown that early-life maltreatment was associated with depressive symptoms, and that the OXTR genotype moderated this relationship, such that under high levels of childhood maltreatment, only individuals with GG/GA genotype demonstrated increased depressive symptomatology compared to those with the AA genotype. In addition, the role of distrust in mediating the relation between childhood maltreatment and depression seemed to be more important among G allele carriers compared to individuals with the AA genotype. Thus, a breach in trust (i.e. in the case of early-life abuse or neglect may have a more deleterious effect among G carriers, who have been characterized as more prosocial and attuned to social cues. The data suggested that G carriers of the OXTR might favor social sensitivity and thus might have been more vulnerable to the effects of early-life adversity.

  20. Oxytocin - The Sweet Hormone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leng, Gareth; Sabatier, Nancy

    2017-05-01

    Mammalian neurons that produce oxytocin and vasopressin apparently evolved from an ancient cell type with both sensory and neurosecretory properties that probably linked reproductive functions to energy status and feeding behavior. Oxytocin in modern mammals is an autocrine/paracrine regulator of cell function, a systemic hormone, a neuromodulator released from axon terminals within the brain, and a 'neurohormone' that acts at receptors distant from its site of release. In the periphery oxytocin is involved in electrolyte homeostasis, gastric motility, glucose homeostasis, adipogenesis, and osteogenesis, and within the brain it is involved in food reward, food choice, and satiety. Oxytocin preferentially suppresses intake of sweet-tasting carbohydrates while improving glucose tolerance and supporting bone remodeling, making it an enticing translational target. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Does the oxytocin receptor polymorphism (rs2254298 confer 'vulnerability' for psychopathology or 'differential susceptibility'? insights from evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brüne Martin

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The diathesis-stress model of psychiatric conditions has recently been challenged by the view that it might be more accurate to speak of 'differential susceptibility' or 'plasticity' genes, rather than one-sidedly focusing on individual vulnerability. That is, the same allelic variation that predisposes to a psychiatric disorder if associated with (developmentally early environmental adversity may lead to a better-than-average functional outcome in the same domain under thriving (or favourable environmental conditions. Studies of polymorphic variations of the serotonin transporter gene, the monoamino-oxidase-inhibitor A coding gene or the dopamine D4 receptor gene indicate that the early environment plays a crucial role in the development of favourable versus unfavourable outcomes. Current evidence is limited, however, to establishing a link between genetic variation and behavioural phenotypes. In contrast, little is known about how plasticity may be expressed at the neuroanatomical level as a 'hard-wired' correlate of observable behaviour. The present review article seeks to further strengthen the argument in favour of the differential susceptibility theory by incorporating findings from behavioural and neuroanatomical studies in relation to genetic variation of the oxytocin receptor gene. It is suggested that polymorphic variation at the oxytocin receptor gene (rs2254298 is associated with sociability, amygdala volume and differential risk for psychiatric conditions including autism, depression and anxiety disorder, depending on the quality of early environmental experiences. Seeing genetic variation at the core of developmental plasticity can explain, in contrast to the diathesis-stress perspective, why evolution by natural selection has maintained such 'risk' alleles in the gene pool of a population. Please see related manuscript: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/37

  2. ASD and genetic associations with receptors for oxytocin and vasopressin – AVPR1A, AVPR1B, and OXTR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunday M Francis

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: There are limited treatments available for autism spectrum disorder (ASD. Studies have reported significant associations between the receptor genes of oxytocin (OT and vasopressin (AVP and ASD diagnosis, as well as, ASD-related phenotypes. Researchers have also found the manipulation of these systems affect social and repetitive behaviors, core characteristics of ASD. Consequently, research involving the oxytocin/vasopressin pathways as intervention targets has increased. Therefore, further examination into the relationship between these neuropeptides and ASD was undertaken. In this study, we examined associations between variants in the receptor genes of vasopressin (AVPR1A, AVPR1B, oxytocin (OXTR and ASD diagnosis along with related subphenotypes.Methods: Probands were assessed using Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and clinical DSM-IV-TR criteria. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in AVPR1B and OXTR, and microsatellites in AVPR1A were genotyped in ~200 families with a proband with ASD. Family-based association testing (FBAT was utilized to determine associations between variants and ASD. Haplotypes composed of OXTR SNPs (i.e. rs53576-rs2254298-rs2268493 were also analyzed due to previously published associations.Results: Using the additive inheritance model in FBAT we found associations between AVPR1B SNPs (rs28632197, p=0.005, rs35369693, p=0.025 and diagnosis. As in other studies, OXTR rs2268493 (p=0.050 was associated with diagnosis. rs2268493 was also associated with ASD subphenotypes of social withdrawal (p=0.013 and insistence on sameness (p=0.039. Further analyses demonstrated that the haplotype, rs2254298-rs2268493 was found to be significantly associated with diagnosis (A-T; p=0.026. FBAT was also used to analyze AVPR1A microsatellites (RS1 and RS3. Both length variants were found to be associated with restrictive, repetitive behaviors, but not overall diagnosis. Correction

  3. ASD and Genetic Associations with Receptors for Oxytocin and Vasopressin-AVPR1A, AVPR1B, and OXTR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Sunday M; Kim, Soo-Jeong; Kistner-Griffin, Emily; Guter, Stephen; Cook, Edwin H; Jacob, Suma

    2016-01-01

    Background: There are limited treatments available for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Studies have reported significant associations between the receptor genes of oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) and ASD diagnosis, as well as ASD-related phenotypes. Researchers have also found the manipulation of these systems affects social and repetitive behaviors, core characteristics of ASD. Consequently, research involving the oxytocin/vasopressin pathways as intervention targets has increased. Therefore, further examination into the relationship between these neuropeptides and ASD was undertaken. In this study, we examined associations between variants in the receptor genes of vasopressin (AVPR1A, AVPR1B), oxytocin (OXTR), and ASD diagnosis along with related subphenotypes. Methods: Probands were assessed using Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and clinical DSM-IV-TR criteria. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in AVPR1B and OXTR, and microsatellites in AVPR1A were genotyped in ~200 families with a proband with ASD. Family-based association testing (FBAT) was utilized to determine associations between variants and ASD. Haplotypes composed of OXTR SNPs (i.e., rs53576-rs2254298-rs2268493) were also analyzed due to previously published associations. Results: Using the additive inheritance model in FBAT we found associations between AVPR1B SNPs (rs28632197, p = 0.005, rs35369693, p = 0.025) and diagnosis. As in other studies, OXTR rs2268493 (p = 0.050) was associated with diagnosis. rs2268493 was also associated with ASD subphenotypes of social withdrawal (p = 0.013) and Insistence on Sameness (p = 0.039). Further analyses demonstrated that the haplotype, rs2254298-rs2268493 was found to be significantly associated with diagnosis (A-T; p = 0.026). FBAT was also used to analyze AVPR1A microsatellites (RS1 and RS3). Both length variants were found to be associated with restrictive, repetitive behaviors, but not overall diagnosis

  4. Preclinical Testing of Novel Oxytocin Receptor Activators in Models of Autism Phenotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-30

    suggests that some medications may alleviate repetitive behavior in ASDs (e.g. atypical antipsychotics and selective serotonin reuptake in- hibitors...acts as an antidepressant in two animal models of depression . Life Sci. 41, 1725e1730. Armstrong, W.E., Stern, J.E., Teruyama, R., 2002. Plasticity...Postsynaptic mechanism of depression of GABAergic synapses by oxytocin in the supraoptic nucleus of immature rat. J. Physiol. 497, 495e507. Busnardo, C

  5. Breastfeeding Outcomes After Oxytocin Use During Childbirth: An Integrative Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Elise N; Emeis, Cathy L

    2017-07-01

    Despite widespread use of exogenous synthetic oxytocin during the birth process, few studies have examined the effect of this drug on breastfeeding. Based on neuroscience research, endogenous oxytocin may be altered or manipulated by exogenous administration or by blocking normal function of the hormone or receptor. Women commonly cite insufficient milk production as their reason for early supplementation, jeopardizing breastfeeding goals. Researchers need to consider the role of birth-related medications and interventions on the production of milk. This article examines the literature on the role of exogenous oxytocin on breastfeeding in humans. Using the method described by Whittemore and Knafl, this integrative review of literature included broad search criteria within the PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane, and Scopus databases. Studies published in English associating a breastfeeding outcome in relation to oxytocin use during the birth process were included. Twenty-six studies from 1978 to 2015 met the criteria. Studies were analyzed according to the purpose of the research, measures and methods used, results, and confounding variables. The 26 studies reported 34 measures of breastfeeding. Outcomes included initiation and duration of breastfeeding, infant behavior, and physiologic markers of lactation. Timing of administration of oxytocin varied. Some studies reported on low-risk birth, while others included higher-risk experiences. Fifty percent of the results (17 of 34 measures) demonstrated an association between exogenous oxytocin and less optimal breastfeeding outcomes, while 8 of 34 measures (23%) reported no association. The remaining 9 measures (26%) had mixed findings. Breastfeeding intentions, parity, birth setting, obstetric risk, and indications for oxytocin use were inconsistently controlled among the studies. Research on breastfeeding and lactation following exogenous oxytocin exposure is limited

  6. Human presynaptic receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlicker, Eberhard; Feuerstein, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Presynaptic receptors are sites at which transmitters, locally formed mediators or hormones inhibit or facilitate the release of a given transmitter from its axon terminals. The interest in the identification of presynaptic receptors has faded in recent years and it may therefore be justified to give an overview of their occurrence in the autonomic and central nervous system; this review will focus on presynaptic receptors in human tissues. Autoreceptors are presynaptic receptors at which a given transmitter restrains its further release, though in some instances may also increase its release. Inhibitory autoreceptors represent a typical example of a negative feedback; they are tonically activated by the respective endogenous transmitter and/or are constitutively active. Autoreceptors also play a role under pathophysiological conditions, e.g. by limiting the massive noradrenaline release occurring during congestive heart failure. They can be used for therapeutic purposes; e.g., the α2-adrenoceptor antagonist mirtazapine is used as an antidepressant and the inverse histamine H3 receptor agonist pitolisant has been marketed as a new drug for the treatment of narcolepsy in 2016. Heteroreceptors are presynaptic receptors at which transmitters from adjacent neurons, locally formed mediators (e.g. endocannabinoids) or hormones (e.g. adrenaline) can inhibit or facilitate transmitter release; they may be subject to an endogenous tone. The constipating effect of the sympathetic nervous system or of the antihypertensive drug clonidine is related to the activation of inhibitory α2-adrenoceptors on postganglionic parasympathetic neurons. Part of the stimulating effect of adrenaline on the sympathetic nervous system during stress is related to its facilitatory effect on noradrenaline release via β2-adrenoceptors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Oxytocin and Migraine Headache.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzabazis, Alexander; Kori, Shashi; Mechanic, Jordan; Miller, James; Pascual, Conrado; Manering, Neil; Carson, Dean; Klukinov, Michael; Spierings, Egilius; Jacobs, Daniel; Cuellar, Jason; Frey, William H; Hanson, Leah; Angst, Martin; Yeomans, David C

    2017-05-01

    This article reviews material presented at the 2016 Scottsdale Headache Symposium. This presentation provided scientific results and rationale for the use of intranasal oxytocin for the treatment of migraine headache. Results from preclinical experiments are reviewed, including in vitro experiments demonstrating that trigeminal ganglia neurons possess oxytocin receptors and are inhibited by oxytocin. Furthermore, most of these same neurons contain CGRP, the release of which is inhibited by oxytocin. Results are also presented which demonstrate that nasal oxytocin inhibits responses of trigeminal nucleus caudalis neurons to noxious stimulation using either noxious facial shock or nitroglycerin infusion. These studies led to testing the analgesic effect of intranasal oxytocin in episodic migraineurs-studies which did not meet their primary endpoint of pain relief at 2 h, but which were highly informative and led to additional rat studies wherein inflammation was found to dramatically upregulate the number of oxytocin receptors available on trigeminal neurons. This importance of inflammation was supported by a series of in vivo rat behavioral studies, which demonstrated a clear craniofacial analgesic effect when a pre-existing inflammatory injury was present. The significance of inflammation was further solidified by a small single-dose clinical study, which showed analgesic efficacy that was substantially stronger in chronic migraine patients that had not taken an anti-inflammatory drug within 24 h of oxytocin dosing. A follow-on open label study examining effects of one month of intranasal oxytocin dosing did show a reduction in pain, but a more impressive decrease in the frequency of headaches in both chronic and high frequency episodic migraineurs. This study led to a multicountry double blind, placebo controlled study studying whether, over 2 months of dosing, "as needed" dosing of intranasal oxytocin by chronic and high frequency migraineurs would reduce the

  8. Oxytocin reduces caloric intake in men

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lawson, Elizabeth A; Marengi, Dean A; DeSanti, Rebecca L; Holmes, Tara M; Schoenfeld, David A; Tolley, Christiane J

    2015-01-01

    .... Oxytocin effects on nutrition and metabolism in humans are not well defined. It was hypothesized that oxytocin would reduce caloric intake and appetite and alter levels of appetite-regulating hormones...

  9. Region specific up-regulation of oxytocin receptors in the opioid Oprm1-/- mouse model of autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina eGigliucci

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs are characterized by impaired communication, social impairments and restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests. Recently altered motivation and reward processes have been suggested to participate in the physiopathology of ASDs, and μ-opioid receptors (MORs have been investigated in relation to social reward due to their involvement in the neural circuitry of reward. Mice lacking a functional MOR gene (Oprm1-/- mice display abnormal social behavior and major autistic-like core symptoms, making them an animal model of autism. The oxytocin (OXT system is a key regulator of social behavior and co-operates with the opioidergic system in the modulation of social behavior. To better understand the opioid-OXT interplay in the central nervous system, we first determined the expression of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR in the brain of WT C57BL6/J mice by quantitative autoradiography; we then evaluated OXTR regional alterations in Oprm1-/- mice. Moreover, we tested these mice in a paradigm of social behavior, the male-female social interaction test, and analyzed the effects of acute intranasal OXT treatment on their performance. In autoradiography, Oprm1-/- mice selectively displayed increased OXTR expression in the Medial Anterior Olfactory Nucleus, the Central and Medial Amygdaloid nuclei and the Nucleus Accumbens. Our behavioral results confirmed that Oprm1-/- male mice displayed social impairments, as indicated by reduced ultrasonic calls, and that these were rescued by a single intranasal administration of OXT. Taken together, our results provide evidence of an interaction between OXT and opioids in socially relevant brain areas and in the modulation of social behavior. Moreover, they suggest that the oxytocinergic system may act as a compensative mechanism to bypass and/or restore alterations in circuits linked to impaired social behavior.

  10. Neuroanatomical distribution of oxytocin and vasopressin 1a receptors in the socially monogamous coppery titi monkey (Callicebus cupreus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Sara M.; Walum, Hasse; Inoue, Kiyoshi; Smith, Aaron L.; Goodman, Mark M.; Bales, Karen L.; Young, Larry J.

    2014-01-01

    The coppery titi monkey (Callicebus cupreus) is a socially monogamous New World primate that has been studied in the field and the laboratory to investigate the behavioral neuroendocrinology of primate pair bonding and parental care. Arginine vasopressin has been shown to influence male titi monkey pair-bonding behavior, and studies are currently underway to examine the effects of oxytocin on titi monkey behavior and physiology. Here, we use receptor autoradiography to identify the distribution of arginine vasopressin 1a (AVPR1a) and oxytocin receptors (OXTR) in hemispheres of titi monkey brain (n=5). AVPR1a are diffuse and widespread throughout the brain, but the OXTR distribution is much more limited, with the densest binding being in the hippocampal formation (dentate gyrus, CA1 field) and the presubiculum (layers I and III). Moderate OXTR binding was detected in the nucleus basalis of Meynert, pulvinar, superior colliculus, layer 4C of primary visual cortex, periaqueductal gray, pontine gray, nucleus prepositus, and spinal trigeminal nucleus. OXTR mRNA overlapped with OXTR radioligand binding, confirming that the radioligand was detecting OXTR protein. AVPR1a binding is present throughout the cortex, especially in cingulate, insular, and occipital cortices, as well as in the caudate, putamen, nucleus accumbens, central amygdala, endopiriform nucleus, hippocampus (CA4 field), globus pallidus, lateral geniculate nucleus, infundibulum, habenula, periaqueductal gray, substantia nigra, olivary nucleus, hypoglossal nucleus, and cerebellum. Furthermore, we show that, in titi monkey brain, the OXTR antagonist ALS-II-69 is highly selective for OXTR and that the AVPR1a antagonist SR49059 is highly selective for AVPR1a. Based on these results and the fact that both ALS-II-69 and SR49059 are non-peptide, small-molecule antagonists that should be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier, these two compounds emerge as excellent candidates for the pharmacological

  11. Novel evolutionary lineages of the invertebrate oxytocin/vasopressin superfamily peptides and their receptors in the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanda, Atsuhiro; Satake, Honoo; Kawada, Tsuyoshi; Minakata, Hiroyuki

    2004-01-01

    The common octopus, Octopus vulgaris, is the first invertebrate species that was shown to possess two oxytocin/vasopressin (OT/VP) superfamily peptides, octopressin (OP) and cephalotocin (CT). Previously, we cloned a GPCR (G-protein-coupled receptor) specific to CT [CTR1 (CT receptor 1)]. In the present study, we have identified an additional CTR, CTR2, and a novel OP receptor, OPR. Both CTR2 and OPR include domains and motifs typical of GPCRs, and the intron– exon structures are in accord with those of OT/VP receptor genes. CTR2 and OPR expressed in Xenopus oocytes induced calcium-mediated inward chloride current in a CT- and OP-specific manner respectively. Several regions and residues, which are requisite for binding of the vertebrate OT/VP receptor family with their ligands, are highly conserved in CTRs, but not in OPR. These different sequences between CTRs and OPR, as well as the amino acid residues of OP and CT at positions 2–5, were presumed to play crucial roles in the binding selectivity to their receptors, whereas the difference in the polarity of OT/VP family peptide residues at position 8 confers OT and VP with the binding specificity in vertebrates. CTR2 mRNA was present in various peripheral tissues, and OPR mRNA was detected in both the nervous system and peripheral tissues. Our findings suggest that the CT and OP genes, similar to the OT/VP family, evolved through duplication, but the ligand–receptor selectivity were established through different evolutionary lineages from those of their vertebrate counterparts. PMID:15504101

  12. Oxitocina e comportamento humano Oxitocina y comportamiento humano Oxytocin and human behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Catarina Ferreira de Campos

    2010-07-01

    , personalidad borderline.Recently, there have been numerous speculations about the influence of oxytocin in emotions and social relations of human beings. This article portrays a study that essentially reflects on the role of oxytocin in human behavior. The survey was conducted in the databases MEDLINE, PubMed version and CINAHL. The main results of the research argue that oxytocin levels increase in response to massage and positive emotion induction. Intranasal oxytocin administration increases calm levels, decreases anxiety level and promote trust behaviours between individuals. A better understanding of the neurobiochemestry biological mechanisms of human behavior have implications for the development of scientific knowledge about psychiatric disorders with a particular handicap in social relations (eg, autism, schizophrenia, borderline personality.

  13. Post-learning intranasal oxytocin modulates human memory for facial identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savaskan, Egemen; Ehrhardt, Rike; Schulz, André; Walter, Marc; Schächinger, Hartmut

    2008-04-01

    The nanopeptide oxytocin has physiological functions during labour and lactation. In addition, oxytocin is known to modulate aggression, anxiety, social behaviour and cognition. Little is known about its effects on memory for emotional stimuli. In the present single-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised study we have investigated the short- and long-term effects of a single post-learning dose (20 IU) of intranasal oxytocin on memory for facial identity and expression in 36 healthy young females and males using a face portrait recognition test. In the acquisition phase of the test, 60 different male faces with happy, angry or neutral expressions were presented to the volunteers. Thirty minutes and 24h after oxytocin administration, recognition memory tests were performed using portraits with neutral facial expressions, only. Oxytocin improved identity recognition memory independently of participant's gender, for neutral and angry faces, whereas this effect was not present for happy faces. Oxytocin-treated subjects had a lower bias to judge not previously seen faces as being previously seen. Oxytocin had no effect on facial expression memory. In conclusion, oxytocin has distinct effects on memory performance for facial identity and may contribute to the modulation of social behaviour.

  14. Mechanisms of the anti-obesity effects of oxytocin in diet-induced obese rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Deblon

    Full Text Available Apart from its role during labor and lactation, oxytocin is involved in several other functions. Interestingly, oxytocin- and oxytocin receptor-deficient mice develop late-onset obesity with normal food intake, suggesting that the hormone might exert a series of beneficial metabolic effects. This was recently confirmed by data showing that central oxytocin infusion causes weight loss in diet-induced obese mice. The aim of the present study was to unravel the mechanisms underlying such beneficial effects of oxytocin. Chronic central oxytocin infusion was carried out in high fat diet-induced obese rats. Its impact on body weight, lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity was determined. We observed a dose-dependent decrease in body weight gain, increased adipose tissue lipolysis and fatty acid β-oxidation, as well as reduced glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. The additional observation that plasma oxytocin levels increased upon central infusion suggested that the hormone might affect adipose tissue metabolism by direct action. This was demonstrated using in vitro, ex vivo, as well as in vivo experiments. With regard to its mechanism of action in adipose tissue, oxytocin increased the expression of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1, as well as the tissue content of the phospholipid precursor, N-oleoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine, the biosynthetic precursor of the oleic acid-derived PPAR-alpha activator, oleoylethanolamide. Because PPAR-alpha regulates fatty acid β-oxidation, we hypothesized that this transcription factor might mediate the oxytocin effects. This was substantiated by the observation that, in contrast to its effects in wild-type mice, oxytocin infusion failed to induce weight loss and fat oxidation in PPAR-alpha-deficient animals. Altogether, these results suggest that oxytocin administration could represent a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of human obesity and type 2 diabetes.

  15. Divergent effects of oxytocin treatment of obese diabetic mice on adiposity and diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altirriba, Jordi; Poher, Anne-Laure; Caillon, Aurélie; Arsenijevic, Denis; Veyrat-Durebex, Christelle; Lyautey, Jacqueline; Dulloo, Abdul; Rohner-Jeanrenaud, Françoise

    2014-11-01

    Oxytocin has been suggested as a novel therapeutic against obesity, because it induces weight loss and improves glucose tolerance in diet-induced obese rodents. A recent clinical pilot study confirmed the oxytocin-induced weight-reducing effect in obese nondiabetic subjects. Nevertheless, the mechanisms involved and the impact on the main comorbidity associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, are unknown. Lean and ob/ob mice (model of obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and diabetes) were treated for 2 weeks with different doses of oxytocin, analogues with longer half-life (carbetocin) or higher oxytocin receptor specificity ([Thr4,Gly7]-oxytocin). Food and water intake, body weight, and glycemia were measured daily. Glucose, insulin, and pyruvate tolerance, body composition, several hormones, metabolites, gene expression, as well as enzyme activities were determined. Although no effect of oxytocin on the main parameters was observed in lean mice, the treatment dose-dependently reduced food intake and body weight gain in ob/ob animals. Carbetocin behaved similarly to oxytocin, whereas [Thr4,Gly7]-oxytocin (TGOT) and a low oxytocin dose decreased body weight gain without affecting food intake. The body weight gain-reducing effect was limited to the fat mass only, with decreased lipid uptake, lipogenesis, and inflammation, combined with increased futile cycling in abdominal adipose tissue. Surprisingly, oxytocin treatment of ob/ob mice was accompanied by a worsening of basal glycemia and glucose tolerance, likely due to increased corticosterone levels and stimulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis. These results impose careful selection of the conditions in which oxytocin treatment should be beneficial for obesity and its comorbidities, and their relevance for human pathology needs to be determined.

  16. Oxytocin enables novelty seeking and creative performance through upregulated approach: evidence and avenues for future research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Dreu, Carsten K W; Baas, Matthijs; Boot, Nathalie C

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin is an evolutionary ancient hypothalamic neuropeptide well known for its role in reproduction, social bonding, and group affiliation. Recent work has linked oxytocin in humans to creative cognition--the ability to produce insights, ideas, and problem solutions that are original and potentially useful. Here we review this literature, focusing on the relationship between (1) single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene; endogenous oxytocin from blood plasma, and intranasal administration of oxytocin (vs placebo), and (2) creativity-related traits (e.g., novelty seeking, extraversion, and openness to experience), and behaviors (e.g., exploration, divergent thinking, original ideation, and problem solving). Findings are interpreted in the context of the dual pathway to creativity model and except for OXTR: (1) reveal a weak to moderate but consistent association between oxytocin and creativity, which emerges because (2) oxytocin enables the cognitive flexibility pathway more than persistent information processing. Findings can be best understood in terms of oxytocin's putative effects on dopaminergic activity and concomitant approach tendency. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Medial nucleus tractus solitarius oxytocin receptor signaling and food intake control: the role of gastrointestinal satiation signal processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Zhi Yi; Alhadeff, Amber L; Grill, Harvey J

    2015-05-01

    Central oxytocin (OT) administration reduces food intake and its effects are mediated, in part, by hindbrain oxytocin receptor (OT-R) signaling. The neural substrate and mechanisms mediating the intake inhibitory effects of hindbrain OT-R signaling are undefined. We examined the hypothesis that hindbrain OT-R-mediated feeding inhibition results from an interaction between medial nucleus tractus solitarius (mNTS) OT-R signaling and the processing of gastrointestinal (GI) satiation signals by neurons of the mNTS. Here, we demonstrated that mNTS or fourth ventricle (4V) microinjections of OT in rats reduced chow intake in a dose-dependent manner. To examine whether the intake suppressive effects of mNTS OT-R signaling is mediated by GI signal processing, rats were injected with OT to the 4V (1 μg) or mNTS (0.3 μg), followed by self-ingestion of a nutrient preload, where either treatment was designed to be without effect on chow intake. Results showed that the combination of mNTS OT-R signaling and GI signaling processing by preload ingestion reduced chow intake significantly and to a greater extent than either stimulus alone. Using enzyme immunoassay, endogenous OT content in mNTS-enriched dorsal vagal complex (DVC) in response to ingestion of nutrient preload was measured. Results revealed that preload ingestion significantly elevated endogenous DVC OT content. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that mNTS neurons are a site of action for hindbrain OT-R signaling in food intake control and that the intake inhibitory effects of hindbrain mNTS OT-R signaling are mediated by interactions with GI satiation signal processing by mNTS neurons. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  18. Associations between oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphisms and self-reported aggressive behavior and anger: Interactions with alcohol consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, Ada; Westberg, Lars; Sandnabba, Kenneth; Jern, Patrick; Salo, Benny; Santtila, Pekka

    2012-09-01

    Oxytocin has been implicated in the regulation of social as well as aggressive behaviors, and in a recent study we found that the effect of alcohol on aggressive behavior was moderated by the individual's genotype on an oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphism (Johansson et al., 2012). In this study we wanted to deepen and expand the analysis by exploring associations between three (rs1488467, rs4564970, rs1042778) OXTR polymorphisms and aggressive behavior, trait anger as well as anger control in a population-based sample of Finnish men and women (N=3577) aged between 18 and 49 years (M=26.45 years, SD=5.02). A specific aim was to investigate if the polymorphisms would show interactive effects with alcohol consumption on aggressive behavior and trait anger, as well as to explore whether these polymorphisms affect differences in anger control between self-reported sober and intoxicated states. The results showed no main effects of the polymorphisms, however, three interactions between the polymorphisms and alcohol consumption were found. The effect of alcohol consumption on aggressive behavior was moderated by the genotype of the individual on the rs4564970 polymorphism, in line with previous results (Johansson et al., 2012). For trait anger, both the rs1488467 and the rs4564970 polymorphisms interacted with alcohol consumption. It appears that the region of the OXTR gene including both the rs4564970 and the rs1488467 polymorphisms may be involved in the regulation of the relationship between alcohol and aggressive behavior as well as between alcohol and the propensity to react to situations with elevated levels of anger. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Newborn analgesia mediated by oxytocin during delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel eMazzuca

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The mechanisms controlling pain in newborns during delivery are poorly understood. We explored the hypothesis that oxytocin, an essential hormone for labor and a powerful neuromodulator, exerts analgesic actions on newborns during delivery. Using a thermal tail-flick assay, we report that pain sensitivity is two fold lower in rat pups immediately after birth than two days later. Oxytocin receptor antagonists strongly enhanced pain sensitivity in newborn, but not in two days-old rats, whereas oxytocin reduced pain at both ages suggesting an endogenous analgesia by oxytocin during delivery. Similar analgesic effects of oxytocin, measured as attenuation of pain-vocalization induced by electrical whisker pad stimulation, were also observed in decerebrated newborns. Oxytocin reduced GABA-evoked calcium responses and depolarizing GABA driving force in isolated neonatal trigeminal neurons suggesting that oxytocin effects are mediated by alterations of intracellular chloride. Unlike GABA signaling, oxytocin did not affect responses mediated by P2X3 and TRPV1 receptors. In keeping with a GABAergic mechanism, reduction of intracellular chloride by the diuretic NKCC1 choride co-transporter antagonist bumetanide mimicked the analgesic actions of oxytocin and its effects on GABA responses in nociceptive neurons. Therefore, endogenous oxytocin exerts an analgesic action in newborn pups that involves a reduction of the depolarizing action of GABA on nociceptive neurons. Therefore, the same hormone that triggers delivery also acts as a natural pain killer revealing a novel facet of the protective actions of oxytocin in the fetus at birth.

  20. Oxytocin and Parental Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshihara, Chihiro; Numan, Michael; Kuroda, Kumi O

    2017-08-16

    The oxytocin/vasopressin ancestor molecule has been regulating reproductive and social behaviors for more than 500 million years. In all mammals, oxytocin is the hormone indispensable for milk-ejection during nursing (maternal milk provision to offspring), a process that is crucial for successful mammalian parental care. In laboratory mice, a remarkable transcriptional activation occurs during parental behavior within the anterior commissural nucleus (AC), the largest magnocellular oxytocin cell population within the medial preoptic area (although the transcriptional activation was limited to non-oxytocinergic neurons in the AC). Furthermore, there are numerous recent reports on oxytocin's involvement in positive social behaviors in animals and humans. Given all those, the essential involvement of oxytocin in maternal/parental behaviors may seem obvious, but basic researchers are still struggling to pin down the exact role oxytocin plays in the regulation of parental behaviors. A major aim of this review is to more clearly define this role. The best conclusion at this moment is that OT can facilitate the onset of parental behavior, or parental behavior under stressful conditions.In this chapter, we will first review the basics of rodent parental behavior. Next, the neuroanatomy of oxytocin systems with respect to parental behavior in laboratory mice will be introduced. Then, the research history on the functional relationship between oxytocin and parental behavior, along with advancements in various techniques, will be reviewed. Finally, some technical considerations in conducting behavioral experiments on parental behavior in rodents will be addressed, with the aim of shedding light on certain pitfalls that should be avoided, so that the progress of research in this field will be facilitated. In this age of populism, researchers should strive to do even more scholarly works with further attention to methodological details.

  1. WAY 267,464, a non-peptide oxytocin receptor agonist, impairs social recognition memory in rats through a vasopressin 1A receptor antagonist action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Callum; Ramos, Linnet; Reekie, Tristan A; Narlawar, Rajeshwar; Kassiou, Michael; McGregor, Iain S

    2015-08-01

    Recent in vitro studies suggest that the oxytocin receptor (OTR) agonist WAY 267,464 has vasopressin 1A receptor (V1AR) antagonist effects. This might limit its therapeutic potential due to the positive involvement of the V1AR in social behavior. The objective of this study was to assess functional V1AR antagonist-like effects of WAY 267,464 in vivo using a test of social recognition memory. Adult experimental rats were tested for their recognition of a juvenile conspecific rat that they had briefly met 30 or 120 min previously. The modulatory effects of vasopressin (AVP), the selective V1AR antagonist SR49059, and WAY 267,464 were examined together with those of the selective OTR antagonist Compound 25 (C25). Drugs were administered immediately after the first meeting. Control rats showed recognition of juveniles at a 30 min, but not a 120 min retention interval. AVP (0.005, but not 0.001 mg/kg intraperitoneal (i.p.)) improved memory such that recognition was evident after 120 min. This was prevented by pretreatment with SR49059 (1 mg/kg) and WAY 267,464 (10, 30, and 100 mg/kg). Given alone, SR49059 (1 mg/kg) and WAY 267,464 (30 and 100 mg/kg) impaired memory at a 30 min retention interval. The impairment with WAY 267,464 was not prevented by C25 (5 mg/kg), suggesting V1AR rather than OTR mediation of the effect. Given alone, C25 also impaired memory. These results highlight a tonic role for endogenous AVP (and oxytocin) in social recognition memory and indicate that WAY 267,464 functions in vivo as a V1AR antagonist to prevent the memory-enhancing effects of AVP.

  2. Effects of Intranasal Oxytocin on Long-Term Memory in Healthy Humans: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brambilla, Michela; Manenti, Rosa; de Girolamo, Giovanni; Adenzato, Mauro; Bocchio-Chiavetto, Luisella; Cotelli, Maria

    2016-12-01

    Preclinical Research The neuropeptide oxytocin (Oxt) is implicated in complex emotional and social behaviors and appears to play an important role in learning and memory. Animal studies have shown that the effects of exogenous Oxt on memory vary according to the timing of administration, context, gender, and dose and may improve the memory of social, but not nonsocial stimuli. Oxt is intimately involved in a broad array of neuropsychiatric functions and may therefore be a pharmacological target for several psychiatric disorders. This review summarizes the potential effects of Oxt on long-term memory processes in healthy humans based on a PubMed search over the period 1980-2016. The effects of intranasal Oxt on human memory are controversial and the studies included in this review have applied a variety of learning paradigms, in turn producing variable outcomes. Specifically, data on the long-term memory of nonemotional stimuli found no effect or even worsening in memory, while studies using emotional stimuli showed an improvement of long-term memory performance. In conclusion, this review identified a link between long-term memory performance and exogenous intranasal Oxt in humans, although these results still warrant further confirmation in large, multicenter randomized controlled trials. Drug Dev Res 77 : 479-488, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Determination of the functional size of oxytocin receptors in plasma membranes from mammary gland and uterine myometrium of the rat by radiation inactivation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soloff, M.S.; Beauregard, G.; Potier, M.

    1988-05-01

    Gel filtration of detergent-solubilized oxytocin (OT) receptors in plasma membrane fractions from both regressed mammary gland and labor myometrium of the rat, showed that specific (/sup 3/H)OT binding was associated with a heterogeneously sized population of macromolecules. As radiation inactivation is the only method available to measure the apparent molecular weights of membrane proteins in situ, we used this approach to define the functional sizes of OT receptors. The results indicate that both mammary and myometrial receptors are uniform in size and of similar molecular mass. Mammary and myometrial receptors were estimated to be 57.5 +/- 3.8 (SD) and 58.8 +/- 1.6 kilodaltons, respectively. Knowledge of the functional size of OT receptors will be useful in studies involving the purification and characterization of the receptor and associated membrane components.

  4. Role of oxytocin in energy metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, Valéria Ernestânia; Tilelli, Cristiane Queixa; Brito, Nilton Almeida; Brito, Márcia Nascimento

    2013-07-01

    The basic mechanisms that lead obesity are not fully understood; however, several peptides undoubtedly play a role in regulating body weight. Obesity, a highly complex metabolic disorder, involves central mechanisms that control food intake and energy expenditure. Previous studies have shown that central or peripheral oxytocin administration induces anorexia. Recently, in an apparent discrepancy, rodents that were deficient in oxytocin or the oxytocin receptor were shown to develop late-onset obesity without changing their total food intake, which indicates the physiological importance of oxytocin to body metabolism. Oxytocin is synthesized not only within magnocellular and parvocellular neurons but also in several organs, including the ovary, uterus, placenta, testis, thymus, kidney, heart, blood vessels, and skin. The presence of oxytocin receptors in neurons, the myometrium and myoepithelial cells is well recognized; however, this receptor has also been identified in other tissues, including the pancreas and adipose tissue. The oxytocin receptor is a typical class I G protein-coupled receptor that is primarily linked to phospholipase C-β via Gq proteins but can also be coupled to other G proteins, leading to different functional effects. In this review, we summarize the present knowledge of the effects of oxytocin on controlling energy metabolism, focusing primarily on the role of oxytocin on appetite regulation, thermoregulation, and metabolic homeostasis. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Oxytocin Modulates Nociception as an Agonist of Pain-Sensing TRPV1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yelena Nersesyan

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is a hormone with various actions. Oxytocin-containing parvocellular neurons project to the brainstem and spinal cord. Oxytocin release from these neurons suppresses nociception of inflammatory pain, the molecular mechanism of which remains unclear. Here, we report that the noxious stimulus receptor TRPV1 is an ionotropic oxytocin receptor. Oxytocin elicits TRPV1 activity in native and heterologous expression systems, regardless of the presence of the classical oxytocin receptor. In TRPV1 knockout mice, DRG neurons exhibit reduced oxytocin sensitivity relative to controls, and oxytocin injections significantly attenuate capsaicin-induced nociception in in vivo experiments. Furthermore, oxytocin potentiates TRPV1 in planar lipid bilayers, supporting a direct agonistic action. Molecular modeling and simulation experiments provide insight into oxytocin-TRPV1 interactions, which resemble DkTx. Together, our findings suggest the existence of endogenous regulatory pathways that modulate nociception via direct action of oxytocin on TRPV1, implying its analgesic effect via channel desensitization.

  6. Sex differences in the neural and behavioral response to intranasal oxytocin and vasopressin during human social interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K; Demarco, Ashley C; Hackett, Patrick D; Chen, Xu; Gautam, Pritam; Stair, Sabrina; Haroon, Ebrahim; Thompson, Richmond; Ditzen, Beate; Patel, Rajan; Pagnoni, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Both oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) are known to modulate social behavior, and dysfunction in both systems has been postulated as a potential cause of certain psychiatric disorders that involve social behavioral deficits. In particular, there is growing interest in intranasal OT as a potential treatment for certain psychiatric disorders, and preliminary pre-clinical and clinical studies suggest efficacy in alleviating some of the associated symptoms. However, the vast majority of research participants in these studies have been male, and there is evidence for sexually differentiated effects of nonapeptides in both humans and non-human animals. To date, no study has investigated the effect of intranasal OT on brain function in human males and females within the same paradigm. Previously, in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind fMRI study, we reported effects of intranasal OT and AVP on behavior and brain activity of human males as they played an interactive social game known as the Prisoner's Dilemma Game. Here, we present findings from an identical study in human females, and compare these with our findings from males. Overall, we find that both behavioral and neural responses to intranasal OT and AVP are highly sexually differentiated. In women, AVP increased conciliatory behavior, and both OT and AVP caused women to treat computer partners more like humans. In men, AVP increased reciprocation of cooperation from both human and computer partners. However, no specific drug effects on behavior were shared between men and women. During cooperative interactions, both OT and AVP increased brain activity in men within areas rich in OT and AVP receptors and in areas playing a key role in reward, social bonding, arousal and memory (e.g., the striatum, basal forebrain, insula, amygdala and hippocampus), whereas OT and AVP either had no effect or in some cases actually decreased brain activity in these regions in women. OT treatment rendered neural responses

  7. Decreased number of oxytocin neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the human hypothalamus in AIDS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Purba, J. S.; Hofman, M. A.; Portegies, P.; Troost, D.; Swaab, D. F.

    1993-01-01

    The number of immunocytochemically identified vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OXT) neurons was determined morphometrically in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus of 20 acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients and 10 controls. The AIDS group consisted of 14 homosexual males (age

  8. Oxytocin enhances amygdala-dependent, socially reinforced learning and emotional empathy in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurlemann, René; Patin, Alexandra; Onur, Oezguer A; Cohen, Michael X; Baumgartner, Tobias; Metzler, Sarah; Dziobek, Isabel; Gallinat, Juergen; Wagner, Michael; Maier, Wolfgang; Kendrick, Keith M

    2010-04-07

    Oxytocin (OT) is becoming increasingly established as a prosocial neuropeptide in humans with therapeutic potential in treatment of social, cognitive, and mood disorders. However, the potential of OT as a general facilitator of human learning and empathy is unclear. The current double-blind experiments on healthy adult male volunteers investigated first whether treatment with intranasal OT enhanced learning performance on a feedback-guided item-category association task where either social (smiling and angry faces) or nonsocial (green and red lights) reinforcers were used, and second whether it increased either cognitive or emotional empathy measured by the Multifaceted Empathy Test. Further experiments investigated whether OT-sensitive behavioral components required a normal functional amygdala. Results in control groups showed that learning performance was improved when social rather than nonsocial reinforcement was used. Intranasal OT potentiated this social reinforcement advantage and greatly increased emotional, but not cognitive, empathy in response to both positive and negative valence stimuli. Interestingly, after OT treatment, emotional empathy responses in men were raised to levels similar to those found in untreated women. Two patients with selective bilateral damage to the amygdala (monozygotic twins with congenital Urbach-Wiethe disease) were impaired on both OT-sensitive aspects of these learning and empathy tasks, but performed normally on nonsocially reinforced learning and cognitive empathy. Overall these findings provide the first demonstration that OT can facilitate amygdala-dependent, socially reinforced learning and emotional empathy in men.

  9. Early social environment affects the endogenous oxytocin system: a review and future directions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily eAlves

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Endogenous oxytocin plays an important role in a wide range of human functions including birth, milk ejection during lactation and facilitation of social interaction. There is increasing evidence that both variations in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR and concentrations of oxytocin are associated with differences in these functions. The causes for the differences that have been observed in tonic and stimulated oxytocin release remain unclear. Previous reviews have suggested that across the life course, these differences may be due to individual factors, e.g. genetic variation (of the OXTR, age or sex, or be the result of early environmental influences such as social experiences, stress or trauma partly by inducing epigenetic changes. This review has three aims. First, we briefly discuss the endogenous oxytocin system, including physiology, development, individual differences and function. Secondly, current models describing the relationship between the early life environment and the development of the oxytocin system in humans and animals are discussed. Finally, we describe research designs that can be used to investigate the effects of the early environment on the oxytocin system, identifying specific areas of research that need further attention.

  10. Effects of Intranasal Oxytocin on Aggressive Responding in Antisocial Personality Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcorn, Joseph L; Rathnayaka, Nuvan; Swann, Alan C; Moeller, F Gerard; Lane, Scott D

    2015-12-01

    The oxytocin receptor is important in several domains of social behavior, and administration of oxytocin modulates social responding in several mammalian species, including humans. Oxytocin has both therapeutic and scientific potential for elucidating the neural and behavioral mechanisms governing social behavior. In the present study, operationally-defined aggressive behavior of six males with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) was measured following acute intranasal oxytocin dosing (12, 24, and 48 international units) and placebo, using a well-validated laboratory task of human aggression (Point-Subtraction Aggression Paradigm, or PSAP). The PSAP provides participants with concurrently available monetary-earning and operationally-defined aggressive response options, maintained by fixed ratio schedules of consequences. Shifts in response rates and inter-response time (IRT) distributions were observed on the aggressive response option following oxytocin doses, relative to placebo. Few changes were observed in monetary-reinforced responding. However, across participants the direction and magnitude of changes in aggressive responding were not systematically related to dose. No trends were observed between psychometric or physiological data and oxytocin dosing or aggressive behavior. While this report is to our knowledge the first to examine the acute effects of oxytocin in this population at high risk for violence and other forms of antisocial behavior, several limitations in the experimental design and the results cast the study as a preliminary report. Strategies for more extensive future projects are discussed.

  11. Oxytocin and vasopressin neural networks: Implications for social behavioral diversity and translational neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Zachary V; Young, Larry J

    2017-05-01

    Oxytocin- and vasopressin-related systems are present in invertebrate and vertebrate bilaterian animals, including humans, and exhibit conserved neuroanatomical and functional properties. In vertebrates, these systems innervate conserved neural networks that regulate social learning and behavior, including conspecific recognition, social attachment, and parental behavior. Individual and species-level variation in central organization of oxytocin and vasopressin systems has been linked to individual and species variation in social learning and behavior. In humans, genetic polymorphisms in the genes encoding oxytocin and vasopressin peptides and/or their respective target receptors have been associated with individual variation in social recognition, social attachment phenotypes, parental behavior, and psychiatric phenotypes such as autism. Here we describe both conserved and variable features of central oxytocin and vasopressin systems in the context of social behavioral diversity, with a particular focus on neural networks that modulate social learning, behavior, and salience of sociosensory stimuli during species-typical social contexts. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Oxytocin reduces caloric intake in men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Elizabeth A; Marengi, Dean A; DeSanti, Rebecca L; Holmes, Tara M; Schoenfeld, David A; Tolley, Christiane J

    2015-05-01

    Preclinical studies indicate that oxytocin is anorexigenic and has beneficial metabolic effects. Oxytocin effects on nutrition and metabolism in humans are not well defined. It was hypothesized that oxytocin would reduce caloric intake and appetite and alter levels of appetite-regulating hormones. Metabolic effects of oxytocin were also explored. A randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study of single-dose intranasal oxytocin (24 IU) in 25 fasting healthy men was performed. After oxytocin/placebo, subjects selected breakfast from a menu and were given double portions. Caloric content of food consumed was measured. Visual analog scales were used to assess appetite, and blood was drawn for appetite-regulating hormones, insulin, and glucose before and after oxytocin/placebo. Indirect calorimetry assessed resting energy expenditure (REE) and substrate utilization. Oxytocin reduced caloric intake with a preferential effect on fat intake and increased levels of the anorexigenic hormone cholecystokinin without affecting appetite or other appetite-regulating hormones. There was no effect of oxytocin on REE. Oxytocin resulted in a shift from carbohydrate to fat utilization and improved insulin sensitivity. Intranasal oxytocin reduces caloric intake and has beneficial metabolic effects in men without concerning side effects. The efficacy and safety of sustained oxytocin administration in the treatment of obesity warrants investigation. © 2014 The Obesity Society.

  13. Social housing conditions and oxytocin and vasopressin receptors contribute to ethanol conditioned social preference in female mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Ruth I; Knoll, Allison T; Levitt, Pat

    2015-11-01

    Social behavior modulates response to alcohol. Because oxytocin (OXT) and vasopressin (AVP) contribute to rewarding social behavior, the present study utilized a genetic strategy to determine whether OXT and AVP receptors (OXTR, AVPR1a) are essential for female mice to demonstrate a conditioned social preference for ethanol. The study compared wild-type (WT) and knock-out (KO) females lacking either Oxtr or Avpr1a in a conditioned social preference (CSP) test. KO females and WT females from Het-Het crosses were pair-housed: KO and WT(ko). WT females from Het-WT crosses were pair-housed: WT(wt). Test mice received 2g/kg ethanol or saline ip, and were paired four times each with one stimulus female (CS-) after saline, and with another female (CS+) following ethanol. After pairing, the time spent with CS+ and CS- females was measured. WT(wt) females showed conditioned preference for the CS+ female paired with ethanol, demonstrated by greater interaction time (psocial stimulus. The lack of CSP in WT(ko) females suggests that the quality of social interactions during postnatal and postweaning life may modulate development and expression of normal social responses. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Peripheral oxytocin receptors inhibit the nociceptive input signal to spinal dorsal horn wide-dynamic-range neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Hernández, Abimael; Manzano-García, Alfredo; Martínez-Lorenzana, Guadalupe; Tello-García, Irma A; Carranza, Martha; Arámburo, Carlos; Condés-Lara, Miguel

    2017-11-01

    Oxytocin (OT) has emerged as a mediator of endogenous analgesia in behavioral and electrophysiological experiments. In fact, OT receptors (OTRs) in the spinal dorsal horn participate in a selective inhibition of the neuronal activity mediated by Aδ and C fibers but not Aβ fibers. This study shows that OTRs are expressed in the terminal nerve endings and are able to inhibit nociceptive neuronal firing. Indeed, local peripheral OT blocked the first sensorial activity of Aδ and C fibers recorded in the spinal cord neurons. Furthermore, using the formalin behavioral nociceptive test, we demonstrated that only ipsilateral OTR activation inhibits pain behavior. Our data are reinforced by the fact that the OTR protein is expressed in the sciatic nerve. Consistent with this, immunofluorescence of primary afferent fibers suggest that OTRs could be located in nociceptive-specific terminals of the skin. Taken together, our results suggest that OTRs could be found in nociceptive terminals and that on activation they are able to inhibit nociceptive input.

  15. Congenital prosopagnosia is associated with a genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene: An exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattaneo, Zaira; Daini, Roberta; Malaspina, Manuela; Manai, Federico; Lillo, Mariarita; Fermi, Valentina; Schiavi, Susanna; Suchan, Boris; Comincini, Sergio

    2016-12-17

    Face-recognition deficits, referred to with the term prosopagnosia (i.e., face blindness), may manifest during development in the absence of any brain injury (from here the term congenital prosopagnosia, CP). It has been estimated that approximately 2.5% of the population is affected by face-processing deficits not depending on brain lesions, and varying a lot in severity. The genetic bases of this disorder are not known. In this study we tested for genetic association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and CP in a restricted cohort of Italian participants. We found evidence of an association between the common genetic variants rs53576 and rs2254298 OXTR SNPs and prosopagnosia. This association was also found when including an additional group of German individuals classified as prosopagnosic in the analysis. Our preliminary data provide initial support for the involvement of genetic variants of OXTR in a relevant cognitive impairment, whose genetic bases are still largely unexplored. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. [Oxytocin, the hormone that everyone uses and that few know].

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Ramírez, Cinthia Elizabeth; Arámbula-Almanza, Jaqueline; Camarena-Pulido, Eva Elizabet

    2014-07-01

    BACKGROUND. Oxytocin is a well known drug most commonly used in obstetrics for induction or augmentation of labor. Due to its essential role in labor, and the overall effect in the body, oxytocin must be deeply understood by all obstetricians who use it and prescribe it. There is relevant data listed about oxytocin and has reviewed the evidence in 31 full text articles of indexed journals between 1999 and 2013. In search engines like MEDLINE, MedicLatina, PUBMED, Wolters Kluwer Healt, with keywords like: oxytocin, oxytocin receptor, oxytocin vasopressin, oxytocin postpartum, oxytocin review, oxytocin labor, oxytocin release. The best evidence from the literature based on the methodology they used is included. The word oxytocin comes from the Greek words omega Chi upsilon xi, tau omicron Chi omicron chi xi, which means "swift birth". It is synthesized in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the hypotalamus is mainly released from the neurohypophysis and nerve terminals. It travels from the brain to the heart and the whole body, activating or modulating a wide range of functions and emotions. Mainly cause myometrial contractions and myoepithelial cells of the breast for milk ejection. Its adverse effects are dose-related. No one knows exactly the minumum and maximum dose of oxytocin. More research is needed about central and peripheral receptors, coupled with the use to which they currently gives to agonists and antagonists of oxytocin and its receptor. As of 2013, the documented adverse effects to date have been undervalued.

  17. Oxytocin alleviates orofacial mechanical hypersensitivity associated with infraorbital nerve injury through vasopressin-1A receptors of the rat trigeminal ganglia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubo, Asako; Shinoda, Masamichi; Katagiri, Ayano; Takeda, Mamoru; Suzuki, Tatsuro; Asaka, Junichi; Yeomans, David C; Iwata, Koichi

    2017-04-01

    Oxytocin (OXT) is a neuropeptide hormone synthesized and secreted by hypothalamic neurons and has been reported to play a significant role in pain modulation. However, the mechanisms underlying OXT's antinociceptive effect on neuropathic pain are not fully understood. In this study, we examined the peripheral effect of OXT on mechanical hypersensitivity induced by partial ligation of the infraorbital nerve (PNL) in rats. Mechanical hypersensitivity in the whisker pad skin after PNL was attenuated by the direct administration of OXT into the trigeminal ganglion (TG). The proportion of vasopressin-1A receptor (V1A-R)-immunoreactive, but not OXT-receptor-immunoreactive, neurons significantly increased among TG neurons innervating the whisker pad skin after PNL. In a patch-clamp recording from TG neurons isolated from PNL rats, the resting membrane potential of OXT-treated neurons was significantly decreased, and the current thresholds of OXT-treated neurons for spike generation (rheobases) were significantly greater than those of vehicle-treated neurons. In addition, OXT increased voltage-gated K channel currents in PNL animals. Furthermore, intra-TG administration of a selective V1A-R antagonist reversed the OXT-induced alleviation of mechanical hypersensitivity, and coapplication of the antagonist opposed OXT's effects on the resting membrane potential, rheobase, and K current. These findings suggest that OXT is effective at suppressing TG neuronal hyperexcitability after nerve injury, likely by modulation of voltage-gated K channels through V1A-R. This signaling mechanism represents a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of orofacial neuropathic pain.

  18. Oxytocin and emotion processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Simplicio, Martina; Harmer, Catherine J

    2016-11-01

    Since the observation that oxytocin has key effects on social decision making, research on this exciting neuropeptide has doubled in volume: hundreds of studies have pursued the promise of a specific oxytocin action on high-level cognition and social function with wide potential translational implications (from autism to social anxiety to dementia). Here we review the evidence on whether the complex behavioural effects observed in humans after exogenous oxytocin administration build on changes in basic emotional information processing, in particular emotional facial expressions recognition, and attention and memory for emotionally-valenced stimuli.We observe that recent studies confirm a facilitatory effect of oxytocin to more accurate emotion processing, irrespective of emotion type. However, it remains unclear whether this action precedes, is independent of or even secondary to the neuropeptide promoting a greater salience of social stimuli. Overall, this growing research area has shown that oxytocin produces behavioural and neurofunctional outcomes that are highly dependent on the experimental context and on individual differences (gender, personality, life experiences). This poses an exciting challenge for future experimental medicine designs to address and unpack complex interactions between individual and context characteristic, which is needed for the development of more precise clinical applications. © The Author(s) 2016.

  19. On the role of oxytocin in borderline personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brüne, Martin

    2016-09-01

    Interpersonal dysfunction is central to borderline personality disorder (BPD). Recent research has focused on the role of oxytocin (OT) in BPD, particularly regarding associations of OT activity with symptoms, genetic polymorphisms of the oxytocin receptor coding gene (OXTR) in BPD, and experimental modification of interpersonal core problems of patients with BPD such as hypervigilance towards threat detection, mistrust, and non-verbal behaviour during social interaction by intranasal application of OT. A literature ('medline') review was performed using the keywords 'oxytocin' and 'borderline personality disorder'. Secondary literature on trauma and attachment in relation to OT was also considered relevant. Together, findings suggest that in BPD OT is associated with enhanced defensive mechanisms and avoidance behaviour. Moreover, gene-environment interaction concerning polymorphic variations of the OXTR gene and childhood adversity in BPD suggests that these genes convey developmental flexibility or 'differential susceptibility' to environmental contingencies, whereby BPD resides at the poor outcome end of the spectrum. In view of the conflicting literature, it needs to be studied carefully whether OT can serve as a therapeutic agent given adjunct to psychotherapy in BPD. More research about the role of OT is also required with regard to the prevention of the non-genetic intergenerational transmission of BPD. Clarifying the role of OT in BPD may also benefit from research in non-human animals targeting the interaction between early adversity and OT availability more directly. The study of oxytocin can contribute to the understanding of the neurobiology of borderline personality disorder. Oxytocin is critically involved in attachment security, and methylation of the oxytocin receptor may play a role in the epigenetic modulation of early adversity. The intranasal application of oxytocin may be a useful therapeutic adjunct to psychotherapy. Insecure attachment and

  20. Association between oxytocin and receptor genetic polymorphisms and aggression in a northern Chinese Han population with alcohol dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ling; Wang, Fan; Wang, Meiling; Han, Mei; Hu, Lufeng; Zheng, Minghua; Ma, Ji; Kang, Yimin; Wang, Pengxiang; Sun, Hongqiang; Zuo, Wei; Xie, Longteng; Wang, Aiju; Yu, Dongsheng; Liu, Yanlong

    2017-01-01

    Alcohol dependence (AD) is a common chronic brain disorder precipitated by complex interactions between biological, genetic, and environmental risk factors. Aggression often occurs in the context of AD. Previous studies have shown that Oxytocin (OXT) and OXT receptor (OXTR) are involved in the regulation of aggression. The present study investigated whether variations and interactions of OXT and OXTR genes were associated with AD-related aggression in a genetically homogeneous northern Chinese Han population. Three hundred and twenty-four male AD patients and 510 male healthy controls (HCs) were recruited. A Chinese version of the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire was used as a subjective measurement of aggressive behavior. Three variations, rs2254298, rs53576, and rs6133010 were genotyped using TaqMan and ligase detection reaction for all subjects. Generalized Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction was used to detect interactions between genetic attributes and environmental attributes. The frequencies of alleles and genotypes of rs6133010 were significantly different between AD patients and HCs (paggression was significantly stronger than that of genotype AA and AG (p=0.001 and p=0.004, respectively), and the subjects with the interaction combination of rs6133010AA×rs2254298GG×rs53576AG exhibited significant effect on physical aggression (p=0.0107). The present study found that rs6133010 in the OXT gene is associated with AD in the northern Chinese Han population. The polymorphisms of OXT/R may play a key role in the susceptibility of AD-related aggression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Alpha-1-adrenergic receptor blockade modifies insulin-regulated aminopeptidase (IRAP) activity in rat prostate and modulates oxytocin functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saníger, Marcela Arrazola; Ramírez-Expósito, María Jesús; de la Chica, Susana; Carrera-González, María Pilar; Mayas, María Dolores; Manuel Martínez-Martos, José

    2011-08-01

    Oxytocin (OT) is one of the important paracrine factors that prostate synthesizes. OT maintains its resting tone and stimulates its contractile activity. However, the involvement of OT in modulating cell proliferation of the prostate is being investigated. In fact, alterations in OT concentrations accompany both benign prostatic hyperplasia/hypertrophy and carcinoma of the prostate. The enzyme Insulin-regulated aminopeptidase (IRAP) is the main responsible of OT levels regulation through its catabolism. To date, the long-acting selective α(1)-adrenergic receptor antagonist doxazosin is widely used to the treatment of BPH. Thus, our aim was to analyze the effects of doxazosin on IRAP specific activity and its putative effects on prostate OT regulation and functions. Fifteen male Wistar rats were treated subcutaneously with 10 mg/Kg doxazosin during 15 days and fifteen controls were treated with the vehicle only. After the treatment period, prostate was removed to obtain soluble and membrane-bound fractions. Soluble and membrane-bound IRAP specific activities were assayed fluorometrically using leucyl-ß-naphthylamide as substrate. Prostate OT content was assayed by enzyme immunoassay. Doxazosin treatment significantly increased membrane-bound IRAP specific activity in rat prostate by 59.4%, whereas no changes were observed in the soluble fraction. Treatment with doxazosin also significantly increased OT concentration by 26.3%. In vivo administration of doxazosin to male rats modify both prostatic IRAP activity and OT levels. Because there is now evidence that OT plays a physiological role in the regulation of growth and muscular contractility within the gland, more attention should be paid to IRAP activity, which could represent a new target for the regulation of the functions of OT under physiological or pathological conditions such as BPH and prostate cancer.

  2. The role of melatonin membrane receptors in melatonin-dependent oxytocin secretion from the rat hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system - an in vitro and in vivo approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juszczak, Marlena; Wolak, Monika; Bojanowska, Ewa; Piera, Lucyna; Roszczyk, Magdalena

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin exerts its biological role acting mainly via G protein-coupled membrane MT1 and MT2 receptors. To determine whether a response of oxytocinergic neurons to different concentrations of melatonin is mediated through membrane MT1 and/or MT2 receptors, the effect of melatonin receptors antagonists, i.e. luzindole (a non-selective antagonist of both MT1 and MT2 receptors) and 4-phenyl-2-propionamidotetralin (4-P-PDOT - a selective antagonist of MT2 receptor), on melatonin-dependent oxytocin (OT) secretion from the rat hypothalamo-neurohypophysial (H-N) system, has been studied both in vitro and in vivo. For in vitro experiment, male rats served as donors of the H-N explants, which were placed in 1 ml of normal Krebs-Ringer fluid (nKRF) heated to 37oC. The H-N explants were incubated successively in nKRF {fluid B1} and incubation fluid as B1 enriched with appropriate concentration of melatonin, i.e. 10-9 M, 10-7 M, or 10-3 M and luzindole or 4-P-PDOT, or their vehicles (0.1% ethanol or DMSO) {fluid B2}. After 20 minutes of incubation in fluid B1 and then B2, the media were collected and immediately frozen before OT estimation by the RIA. The OT secretion was determined by using the B2/B1 ratio for each H-N explant. During in vivo experiment, rats were given an intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion of 5 mL luzindole or 4-P-PDOT, or their solvent (0.1% DMSO) and 10 minutes later the next i.c.v. infusion of 5 mL of either melatonin solution (10-7 M) or its vehicle (0.1 % ethanol in 0.9% sodium chloride). Melatonin at a concentration of 10-3 M significantly stimulated, while at a concentration of 10-9 M had no effect on, oxytocin secretion from the rat H-N system in vitro, also when luzindole or 4-P-PDOT was present in a medium. On the other hand, melatonin at a concentration of 10-7 M diminished this neurohormone output from an isolated H-N system and into the blood. Luzindole significantly suppressed such melatonin action, while 4-P-PDOT did not change the

  3. Oxytocin treatment in pediatric populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrienne Elise Taylor

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The role of endogenous oxytocin as neuromodulator of birth, lactation and social behaviors is well-recognized. Moreover, the use of oxytocin as a facilitator of social and other behaviors is becoming more and more accepted. Many positive effects have been attributed to intranasal oxytocin administration in animals and humans; with current research highlighting encouraging advances in its potential for use in mental health disorders. The new frontier will be investigating the effective use of oxytocin in pediatric populations. Limited animal data is available on this. Large-scale human studies focusing on autism are currently under way, but many other possibilities seem to lie in the future. However, we need to know more about the risks and effects of repeated use on the developing brain and body. This paper will provide an overview of the current understanding of the role of endogenous oxytocin and its related neuropeptide systems in influencing behaviors, in particular attachment, and will review a the literature on the use of intranasal oxytocin in young animals, children (age range birth-12 years and adolescents (age range 13-19 years, b the expected benefits and risks based on the current research, and c the risks of oxytocin in children with severe psychopathology and early life trauma. The paper will conclude with a clinical perspective on these findings

  4. Neuroanatomical evidence for a role of central melanocortin-4 receptors and oxytocin in the efferent control of the rodent clitoris and vagina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelez, Helene; Poirier, Sarah; Facchinetti, Patricia; Allers, Kelly A; Wayman, Chris; Alexandre, Laurent; Giuliano, François

    2010-06-01

    The clitoris and the vagina are the main peripheral anatomical structures involved in physiological changes related to sexual arousal and orgasm. Their efferent control and, more particularly, the neurochemical phenotype of these descending neuronal pathways remain largely uncharacterized. To examine if brain neurons involved in the efferent control of the clitoris and the vagina possess melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4-R) and/or contain oxytocin (OT). Neurons involved in the efferent control of the vagina and clitoris were identified following visualization of pseudorabies virus (PRV) retrograde tracing. PRV was injected into the vagina and clitoris in adult rats in estrous. On the fifth day postinjection, animals were humanely sacrificed, and brains were removed and sectioned, and processed for PRV visualization. The neurochemical phenotype of PRV-positive neurons was identified using double or triple immunocytochemical labeling against PRV, MC4-R, and OT. Double and triple labeling were quantified using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Neuroanatomical brain distribution, number and percentage of double-labeled PRV/MC4-R and PRV-/OT-positive neurons, and triple PRV-/MC4-R-/OT-labeled neurons. The majority of PRV immunopositive neurons which also expressed immunoreactivity for MC4-R were located in the paraventricular and arcuate nuclei of the hypothalamus. The majority of PRV positive neurons which were immunoreactive (IR) for OT were located in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), medial preoptic area (MPOA), and lateral hypothalamus. PRV positive neurons were more likely to be IR for MC4-R than for OT. Scattered triple-labeled PRV/MC4-R/OT neurons were detected in the MPOA and the PVN. These data strongly suggest that MC4-R and, to a less extent, OT are involved in the efferent neuronal control of the clitoris and vagina, and consequently facilitate our understanding of how the melanocortinergic pathway regulates female sexual function.

  5. Developmental Perspectives on Oxytocin and Vasopressin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammock, Elizabeth A D

    2015-01-01

    The related neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin are involved in species-typical behavior, including social recognition behavior, maternal behavior, social bonding, communication, and aggression. A wealth of evidence from animal models demonstrates significant modulation of adult social behavior by both of these neuropeptides and their receptors. Over the last decade, there has been a flood of studies in humans also implicating a role for these neuropeptides in human social behavior. Despite popular assumptions that oxytocin is a molecule of social bonding in the infant brain, less mechanistic research emphasis has been placed on the potential role of these neuropeptides in the developmental emergence of the neural substrates of behavior. This review summarizes what is known and assumed about the developmental influence of these neuropeptides and outlines the important unanswered questions and testable hypotheses. There is tremendous translational need to understand the functions of these neuropeptides in mammalian experience-dependent development of the social brain. The activity of oxytocin and vasopressin during development should inform our understanding of individual, sex, and species differences in social behavior later in life. PMID:24863032

  6. The role of oxytocin in the ability of domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to use human social cues and bond with humans.

    OpenAIRE

    Oliva, Jessica Lee

    2017-01-01

    The domestic dog (Canis familiaris) demonstrates attachment/bonding behaviour towards humans, whilst wolves (Canis lupus) do not. Domestic dogs also use humans’ non-verbal social cues to solve problems better than wolves do, even wolves raised in the same manner as domestic dogs. The neuropeptide oxytocin has been implicated in mammalian bonding and non-verbal intelligence and therefore the oxytocinergic system may have evolved in the dog during domestication in such a manner as to enable the...

  7. Oxytocin Enables Maternal Behavior by Balancing Cortical Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marlin, Bianca J.; Mitre, Mariela; D’amour, James A.; Chao, Moses V.; Froemke, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin is important for social interactions and maternal behavior. However, little is known about when, where, and how oxytocin modulates neural circuits to improve social cognition. Here we show how oxytocin enables pup retrieval behavior in female mice by enhancing auditory cortical pup call responses. Retrieval behavior required left but not right auditory cortex, was accelerated by oxytocin in left auditory cortex, and oxytocin receptors were preferentially expressed in left auditory cortex. Neural responses to pup calls were lateralized, with co-tuned and temporally-precise excitatory and inhibitory responses in left cortex of maternal but not pup-naive adults. Finally, pairing calls with oxytocin enhanced responses by balancing the magnitude and timing of inhibition with excitation. Our results describe fundamental synaptic mechanisms by which oxytocin increases the salience of acoustic social stimuli. Furthermore, oxytocin-induced plasticity provides a biological basis for lateralization of auditory cortical processing. PMID:25874674

  8. Oxytocin Deficiency Mediates Hyperphagic Obesity of Sim1 Haploinsufficient Mice

    OpenAIRE

    Kublaoui, Bassil M.; Gemelli, Terry; Tolson, Kristen P.; Wang, Yu; Zinn, Andrew R.

    2008-01-01

    Single-minded 1 (Sim1) encodes a transcription factor essential for formation of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Sim1 haploinsufficiency is associated with hyperphagic obesity and increased linear growth in humans and mice, similar to the phenotype of melanocortin 4 receptor (Mc4r) mutations. PVN neurons in Sim1+/− mice are hyporesponsive to the melanocortin agonist melanotan II. PVN neuropeptides oxytocin (Oxt), TRH and CRH inhibit feeding when administered centrally. Consequ...

  9. Lack of Association between Human Plasma Oxytocin and Interpersonal Trust in a Prisoners Dilemma Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-12-30

    centrifugation, and samples were stored in a 280 C̊ freezer . The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was the oxytocin kit from Enzo Life Sciences...of labeling in order to minimize losses of sensitivity due to I125 decay. Extractions were conducted using Oasis HLB 96-well plates , 60 mg sorbent... plates . Samples were then lyophilized and dissolved in 250 mL of assay buffer. Each of the two replicates used100 mL of the resulting solution

  10. Ignorance Is No Excuse: Moral Judgments Are Influenced by a Genetic Variation on the Oxytocin Receptor Gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Nora T.; Montag, Christian; Markett, Sebastian; Felten, Andrea; Voigt, Gesine; Reuter, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Perspective-taking has become a main focus of studies on moral judgments. Recent fMRI studies have demonstrated that individual differences in brain activation predict moral decision making. In particular, pharmacological studies highlighted the crucial role for the neuropeptide oxytocin in social behavior and emotional perception. In the present…

  11. Maternal and Paternal Plasma, Salivary, and Urinary Oxytocin and Parent-Infant Synchrony: Considering Stress and Affiliation Components of Human Bonding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, Ruth; Gordon, Ilanit; Zagoory-Sharon, Orna

    2011-01-01

    Studies in mammals have implicated the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) in processes of bond formation and stress modulation, yet the involvement of OT in human bonding throughout life remains poorly understood. We assessed OT in the plasma, saliva, and urine of 112 mothers and fathers interacting with their 4-6-month-old infants. Parent-infant…

  12. Oxytocin release in magnocellular nuclei: neurochemical mediators and functional significance during gestation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, William E.; Crowley, William R.

    2010-01-01

    When released from dendrites within the supraoptic (SON) and paraventricular (PVN) nuclei (intranuclear release) during suckling, oxytocin exerts autocrine and paracrine effects on oxytocin neurons that are necessary for the unique timing and episodic pattern of oxytocin release into the systemic circulation that is characteristic of lactation. Recent reports have shown that stimulation of central noradrenergic and histaminergic receptors are both necessary for intranuclear release of oxytocin in response to suckling. In addition, in vitro studies indicate that excitatory amino acids may also be critical for central oxytocin secretion, although in vivo experiments have not provided direct support for this hypothesis. In addition to a critical role in intranuclear oxytocin release during lactation, norepinephrine has also been shown to stimulate central oxytocin during gestation. Stimulation of central oxytocin receptors during gestation appears critical for normal systemic oxytocin secretion in responses to suckling during the subsequent period of lactation. Oxytocin receptor blockade during pregnancy alters normal timing of systemic oxytocin release during suckling and reduces milk delivery. Several adaptations occur in the central oxytocin system that are necessary for determining the unique response characteristic observed during parturition and gestation. Central oxytocin receptor stimulation during gestation has been implicated in pregnancy-related morphological changes in magnocellular oxytocin neurons, disinhibition of oxytocin neurons to GABA, and adaptations in membrane response characteristics of oxytocin neurons. In conclusion, intranuclear oxytocin release during gestation and lactation are critical for establishing, and then evoking the unique pattern of systemic oxytocin secretion in response to the suckling offspring necessary for adequate milk delivery. Furthermore, activation of central noradrenergic receptors appears to be critical for release of

  13. A general approach-avoidance hypothesis of oxytocin: accounting for social and non-social effects of oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harari-Dahan, Osnat; Bernstein, Amit

    2014-11-01

    We critically reexamine extant theory and empirical study of Oxytocin. We question whether OT is, in fact, a "social neuropeptide" as argued in dominant theories of OT. We critically review human and animal research on the social and non-social effects of Oxytocin, including behavioral, psychophysiological, neurobiological, and neuroimaging studies. We find that extant (social) theories of Oxytocin do not account for well-documented non-social effects of Oxytocin. Furthermore, we find a range of evidence that social and non-social effects of Oxytocin may be mediated by core approach-avoidance motivational processes. We propose a General Approach-avoidance Hypothesis of Oxytocin (GAAO). We argue that the GAAO may provide a parsimonious account of established social and non-social effects of Oxytocin. We thus re-conceptualize the basic function(s) and mechanism(s) of action of Oxytocin. Finally, we highlight implications of the GAAO for basic and clinical research in humans

  14. Fibroblast growth factor 2 alters the oxytocin receptor in a developmental model of anxiety-like behavior in male rat pups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litvin, Yoav; Turner, Cortney A; Rios, Mariel B; Maras, Pamela M; Chaudhury, Sraboni; Baker, Miriam R; Blandino, Peter; Watson, Stanley J; Akil, Huda; McEwen, Bruce

    2016-11-01

    We aimed to determine the short-term effects of early-life stress in the form of maternal separation (MS) on anxiety-like behavior in male rat pups. In order to assess anxiety, we measured 40kHz separation-induced ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) on postnatal day (PND) 11. We further aimed to evaluate the potential involvement of two neurochemical systems known to regulate social and anxiety-like behaviors throughout life: oxytocin (OT) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2). For these purposes, we tested the effects of neonatal administration (on PND1) of an acute dose of FGF2 on USV and its potential interaction with MS. In addition, we validated the anxiolytic effects of OT and measured oxytocin receptor (OTR) gene expression, binding and epigenetic regulation via histone acetylation. Our results show that MS potentiated USV while acute administration of OT and FGF2 attenuated them. Further, we found that both FGF2 and MS increased OTR gene expression and the association of acH3K14 with the OTR promoter in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). Comparable changes, though not as pronounced, were also found for the central amygdala (CeA). Our findings suggest that FGF2 may exert its anxiolytic effects in male MS rats by a compensatory increase in the acetylation of the OTR promoter to overcome reduced OT levels in the BNST. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. The moderating role of an oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism in the relation between unsupportive social interactions and coping profiles: implications for depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McInnis, Opal A; McQuaid, Robyn J; Matheson, Kimberly; Anisman, Hymie

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin is a hormone that is thought to influence prosocial behaviors and may be important in modulating responses to both positive and negative social interactions. Indeed, a single nucleotide polymorphism, rs53576, of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) has been associated with decreased trust, empathy, optimism, and social support seeking, which are important components of coping with stressors. In the current study, conducted among undergraduate students (N = 225), it was shown that parental and peer social support was related to fewer depressive symptoms through elevated problem-focused coping and lower emotion-focused coping, and these effects were independent of the OXTR polymorphism. Unsupportive social interactions from parents were associated with more severe depressive symptoms through the greater use of emotion-focused coping, and this relation was moderated by the OXTR genotype. Specifically, individuals who carried the polymorphism on one or both of their alleles demonstrated increased emotion-focused coping following unsupportive responses compared to those without the polymorphism. Likewise, lower problem-focused coping mediated the relation between parental and peer unsupportive responses to depressive symptoms, but this mediated relation was only evident among carriers of the polymorphism. These findings suggest that carrying this OXTR polymorphism might favor disadvantageous coping styles in the face of negative social interactions, which in turn are linked to poor mood. Regardless of genotype, parental, and peer social support are fundamental in determining stress-related coping and well-being.

  16. Inhaled oxytocin increases positive social behaviors in newborn macaques

    OpenAIRE

    Simpson, Elizabeth A.; Sclafani, Valentina; Paukner, Annika; Hamel, Amanda F; Novak, Melinda A.; Meyer, Jerrold S.; Suomi, Stephen J.; Ferrari, Pier Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Oxytocin promotes positive social behaviors in several species and therefore may be a therapeutic tool for neurodevelopmental disorders. It remains untested, however, whether oxytocin may affect infants, and whether effects may vary depending on infants’ social skills or interest. To test these predictions, we administered nebulized oxytocin to rhesus macaque newborns. Macaques, like humans, engage in complex face-to-face mother–infant interactions. Oxytocin increased infants’ affiliative com...

  17. Oxytocin and Serotonin Brain Mechanisms in the Nonhuman Primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefevre, Arthur; Richard, Nathalie; Jazayeri, Mina; Beuriat, Pierre-Aurélien; Fieux, Sylvain; Zimmer, Luc; Duhamel, Jean-René; Sirigu, Angela

    2017-07-12

    Oxytocin (OT) is increasingly studied for its therapeutic potential in psychiatric disorders, which are associated with the deregulation of several neurotransmission systems. Studies in rodents demonstrated that the interaction between OT and serotonin (5-HT) is critical for several aspects of social behavior. Using PET scan in humans, we have recently found that 5-HT 1A receptor (5-HT 1A R) function is modified after intranasal oxytocin intake. However, the underlying mechanism between OT and 5-HT remains unclear. To understand this interaction, we tested 3 male macaque monkeys using both [ 11 C]DASB and [ 18 F]MPPF, two PET radiotracers, marking the serotonin transporter and the 5-HT 1A R, respectively. Oxytocin (1 IU in 20 μl of ACSF) or placebo was injected into the brain lateral ventricle 45 min before scans. Additionally, we performed postmortem autoradiography. Compared with placebo, OT significantly reduced [ 11 C]DASB binding potential in right amygdala, insula, and hippocampus, whereas [ 18 F]MPPF binding potential increased in right amygdala and insula. Autoradiography revealed that [ 11 C]DASB was sensitive to physiological levels of 5-HT modification, and that OT does not act directly on the 5-HT 1A R. Our results show that oxytocin administration in nonhuman primates influences serotoninergic neurotransmission via at least two ways: (1) by provoking a release of serotonin in key limbic regions; and (2) by increasing the availability of 5-HT 1A R receptors in the same limbic areas. Because these two molecules are important for social behavior, our study sheds light on the specific nature of their interaction, therefore helping to develop new mechanisms-based therapies for psychiatric disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Social behavior is largely controlled by brain neuromodulators, such as oxytocin and serotonin. While these are currently targeted in the context of psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, a new promising pharmaceutical

  18. Chromosomal localization of the human V3 pituitary vasopressin receptor gene (AVPR3) to 1q32

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rousseau-Merck, M.F.; Derre, J.; Berger, R. [INSERM, Paris (France)] [and others

    1995-11-20

    Vasopressin exerts its physiological effects on liver metabolism, fluid osmolarity, and corticotrophic response to stress through a set of at least three receptors, V1a, V2, and V3 (also called V1b), respectively. These receptors constitute a distinct group of the superfamily of G-protein-coupled cell surface receptors. When bound to vasopressin, they couple to G proteins activating phospholipase C for the V1a and V3 types and adenylate cyclase for the V2. The vasopressin receptor subfamily also includes the receptor for oxytocin, a structurally related hormone that signals through the activation of phospholipase C. The chromosomal position of the V2 receptor gene has been assigned to Xq28-qter by PCR-based screening of somatic cell hybrids, whereas the oxytocin receptor gene has been mapped to chromosome 3q26.2 by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The chromosomal location of the V1a gene is currently unknown. We recently cloned the cDNA and the gene coding for the human pituitary-specific V3 receptor (HGMW-approved symbol AVPR3). We report here the chromosomal localization of this gene by two distinct in situ hybridization techniques using radioactive and fluorescent probes. 11 refs., 1 fig.

  19. The Effects of Vasopressin and Oxytocin on the Fetoplacental Distal Stem Arteriolar Vascular Resistance of the Dual-Perfused, Single, Isolated, Human Placental Cotyledon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downing, John W; Baysinger, Curtis L; Johnson, Raymond F; Paschall, Ray L; Shotwell, Matthew S

    2016-09-01

    Vasoactive agents administered to counter maternal hypotension at cesarean delivery may theoretically intensify the hypoxemic fetoplacental vasoconstrictor response and, hence, negatively impact transplacental oxygen delivery to the fetus. Yet, this aspect of their pharmacodynamic profiles is seldom mentioned, let alone investigated. We hypothesized that vasopressin, a potent systemic vasoconstrictor, and oxytocin, a uterotonic agent administered routinely at cesarean delivery, which, in contrast to vasopressin, possesses significant systemic vasodilator properties, would not influence distal stem villous arteriolar resistance. The dual-perfused, single, isolated cotyledon, human placental perfusion model was used to examine the resistance response of the fetoplacental circulation to oxytocin and vasopressin in placentae harvested from healthy women. Twelve of a total of 17 individual experiments were conducted successfully during which either oxytocin (n = 6) or vasopressin (n = 6) was introduced into the fetal reservoir in concentration increments of 10 M. Fetoplacental distal stem villous arteriolar perfusion pressure (FAP) was measured continuously. The fetal circuit concentration of either oxytocin or vasopressin was raised in a stepwise fashion from 10 to 10 M or 10 to 10 M, respectively. Both reservoirs were then purged of drug, after which 1-mL 1.0 mM 5-hydroxytryptamine (2.5 µM), an agent well known to manifestly increase fetoplacental distal stem villous arteriolar resistance, was introduced into the fetal circuit. A significant increase in FAP from baseline in response to exposure to 5-hydroxytryptamine confirmed that the fetoplacental vasoconstrictor response remained reactive. The primary outcome of this study was changes in FAP after incremental dosing of vasopressin and oxytocin. No changes in FAP were observed with either oxytocin or vasopressin regardless of the drug concentration tested. For each drug and concentration, a mean pressure change

  20. Interaction between oxytocin genotypes and early experience predicts quality of mothering and postpartum mood.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viara Mileva-Seitz

    Full Text Available Individual differences in maternal behavior are affected by both early life experiences and oxytocin, but little is known about genetic variation in oxytocin genes and its effects on mothering. We examined two polymorphisms in the oxytocin peptide gene OXT (rs2740210 and rs4813627 and one polymorphism in the oxytocin receptor gene OXTR (rs237885 in 187 Caucasian mothers at six months postpartum. For OXT, both rs2740210 and rs4813627 significantly associated with maternal vocalizing to the infant. These polymorphisms also interacted with the quality of care mothers experienced in early life, to predict variation in maternal instrumental care and postpartum depression. However, postpartum depression did not mediate the gene-environment effects of the OXT SNPs on instrumental care. In contrast, the OXTR SNP rs237885 did not associate with maternal behavior, but it did associate with pre-natal (but not post-natal depression score. The findings illustrate the importance of variation in oxytocin genes, both alone and in interaction with early environment, as predictors of individual differences in human mothering. Furthermore, depression does not appear to have a causal role on the variation we report in instrumental care. This suggests that variation in instrumental care varies in association with a gene-early environment effect regardless of current depressive symptomatology. Finally, our findings highlight the importance of examining multiple dimensions of human maternal behavior in studies of genetic associations.

  1. Interaction between oxytocin genotypes and early experience predicts quality of mothering and postpartum mood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mileva-Seitz, Viara; Steiner, Meir; Atkinson, Leslie; Meaney, Michael J; Levitan, Robert; Kennedy, James L; Sokolowski, Marla B; Fleming, Alison S

    2013-01-01

    Individual differences in maternal behavior are affected by both early life experiences and oxytocin, but little is known about genetic variation in oxytocin genes and its effects on mothering. We examined two polymorphisms in the oxytocin peptide gene OXT (rs2740210 and rs4813627) and one polymorphism in the oxytocin receptor gene OXTR (rs237885) in 187 Caucasian mothers at six months postpartum. For OXT, both rs2740210 and rs4813627 significantly associated with maternal vocalizing to the infant. These polymorphisms also interacted with the quality of care mothers experienced in early life, to predict variation in maternal instrumental care and postpartum depression. However, postpartum depression did not mediate the gene-environment effects of the OXT SNPs on instrumental care. In contrast, the OXTR SNP rs237885 did not associate with maternal behavior, but it did associate with pre-natal (but not post-natal) depression score. The findings illustrate the importance of variation in oxytocin genes, both alone and in interaction with early environment, as predictors of individual differences in human mothering. Furthermore, depression does not appear to have a causal role on the variation we report in instrumental care. This suggests that variation in instrumental care varies in association with a gene-early environment effect regardless of current depressive symptomatology. Finally, our findings highlight the importance of examining multiple dimensions of human maternal behavior in studies of genetic associations.

  2. The challenge of translation in social neuroscience: a review of oxytocin, vasopressin, and affiliative behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insel, Thomas R

    2010-03-25

    Social neuroscience is rapidly exploring the complex territory between perception and action where recognition, value, and meaning are instantiated. This review follows the trail of research on oxytocin and vasopressin as an exemplar of one path for exploring the "dark matter" of social neuroscience. Studies across vertebrate species suggest that these neuropeptides are important for social cognition, with gender- and steroid-dependent effects. Comparative research in voles yields a model based on interspecies and intraspecies variation of the geography of oxytocin receptors and vasopressin V1a receptors in the forebrain. Highly affiliative species have receptors in brain circuits related to reward or reinforcement. The neuroanatomical distribution of these receptors may be guided by variations in the regulatory regions of their respective genes. This review describes the promises and problems of extrapolating these findings to human social cognition, with specific reference to the social deficits of autism. (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Interaction between oxytocin receptor DNA methylation and genotype is associated with risk of postpartum depression in women without depression in pregnancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleeca F. Bell

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Postpartum depression (PPD affects up to 19% of women, negatively impacting maternal and infant health. Reductions in plasma oxytocin levels have been associated with PPD and heritability studies have established a genetic contribution. Epigenetic regulation of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR has been demonstrated and we hypothesized that individual epigenetic variability at OXTR may impact the development of PPD and that such variability may be central to predicting risk. This case-control study is nested within the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children and included 269 cases with PPD and 276 controls matched on age group, parity, and presence or absence of depressive symptoms in pregnancy as assessed by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. OXTR DNA methylation (CpG site -934 and genotype (rs53576 and rs2254298 were assayed from DNA extracted from blood collected during pregnancy. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR and 95% confidence intervals (CI for the association of elevated symptoms of PPD with genotype, methylation, and their interaction adjusted for psychosocial factors (n=500. There was evidence of an interaction between rs53576 and methylation in the OXTR gene amongst women who did not have depression prenatally but developed PPD (p interaction=0.026, adjusted for covariates, n=257. Those women with GG genotype showed 2.63 greater odds of PPD for every 10% increase in methylation level (95% CI: 1.37, 5.03, whereas methylation was unrelated to PPD amongst A carriers (OR=1.00, 95%CI: 0.58, 1.73. There was no such interaction among women with PPD and prenatal depression. These data indicate that epigenetic variation that decreases expression of OXTR in a susceptible genotype may play a contributory role in the etiology of postpartum depression.

  4. Association between childhood maltreatment and adult emotional dysregulation in a low-income, urban, African American sample: moderation by oxytocin receptor gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Bekh; Westen, Drew; Mercer, Kristina B; Binder, Elisabeth B; Jovanovic, Tanja; Crain, Daniel; Wingo, Aliza; Heim, Christine

    2011-05-01

    The ability to effectively regulate emotions and a secure attachment style are critical for maintaining mental health across the life span. The experience of childhood maltreatment interferes with normal development of emotional regulation and dramatically increases risk for a wide range of psychiatric disorders in adulthood. The central nervous system oxytocin systems are critically involved in mediating social attachment and buffering psychophysiological responses to stress. We therefore investigated the impact of childhood maltreatment and an oxytocin receptor (OXTR) single nucleotide polymorphism (rs53576) and their interaction on emotional dysregulation and attachment style in adulthood in a sample of low-income, African American men and women recruited from primary care clinics of an urban, public hospital. Consistent with prior research, we found that the severity of childhood maltreatment was associated with increased levels of emotional dysregulation in adulthood. Childhood maltreatment was also positively associated with ratings of disorganized/unresolved adult attachment style and negatively associated with ratings of secure adult attachment style. There was no direct association between rs53576 and emotional dysregulation or ratings of adult attachment style. However, there were significant interactions between rs53576 and childhood maltreatment in predicting level of adult emotional dysregulation and attachment style. Specifically, G/G genotype carriers were at risk for increased emotional dysregulation when exposed to three or more categories of childhood abuse. In addition, G/G genotype carriers exhibited enhanced disorganized adult attachment style when exposed to severe childhood abuse compared to A/A and A/G carriers. Our findings suggest that A allele carriers of OXTR rs53576 are resilient against the effects of severe childhood adversity, by protection against emotional dysregulation and disorganized attachment.

  5. Effects of Endogenous Oxytocin Receptor Signaling in Nucleus Tractus Solitarius on Satiation-Mediated Feeding and Thermogenic Control in Male Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Zhi Yi; Bongiorno, Diana M; Hernando, Mary Ann; Grill, Harvey J

    2017-09-01

    Central oxytocin receptor (OT-R) signaling reduces food intake and increases energy expenditure, but the central sites and mechanisms mediating these effects are unresolved. We showed previously that pharmacological activation of OT-R in hindbrain/nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) amplifies the intake-inhibitory effects of gastrointestinal (GI) satiation signals. Unexplored were the energetic effects of hindbrain OT-R agonism and the physiological relevance of NTS OT-R signaling on food intake and energy expenditure control. Using a virally mediated OT-R knockdown (KD) strategy and a range of behavioral paradigms, this study examined the role of endogenous NTS OT-R signaling on satiation-mediated food intake inhibition and thermogenic control. Results showed that, compared with controls, NTS OT-R KD rats consumed larger meals, were less responsive to the intake-inhibitory effects of a self-ingested preload, and consumed more chow following a 24-hour fast. These data indicate that NTS OT-R signaling is necessary for normal satiation control. Whereas both control and NTS OT-R KD rats increased core temperature following high-fat diet maintenance (relative to chow maintenance), the percent increase in core temperature was greater in control compared with NTS OT-R KD rats during the light cycle. Hindbrain oxytocin agonist delivery increased core temperature in both control and NTS OT-R KD rats and the percent increase relative to vehicle treatment was not significantly different between groups. Together, data reveal a critical role for endogenous NTS OT-R signaling in mediating the intake-inhibitory effects of endogenous GI satiation signals and in diet-induced thermogenesis. Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society.

  6. Change in parenting, change in student-teacher relationships, and oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR): Testing a gene-×-environment (G×E) hypothesis in two samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hygen, Beate Wold; Belsky, Jay; Li, Zhi; Stenseng, Frode; Güzey, Ismail Cuneyt; Wichstrøm, Lars

    2017-07-01

    Prior research suggests that parenting affects children's relationships, including those with teachers, although there is variation across individuals in such effects. Given evidence suggesting that oxytocin may be particularly important for the quality of social relationships, we tested the hypotheses (a) that change in parenting from 4 to 6 years of age influences and predicts change in the student-teacher relationship from 6 to 8 years of age and (b) that this effect is moderated by a polymorphism related to the child's oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR), rs53576. In 2 studies, participants included, respectively, 652 socioeconomically diverse Norwegian children from a community sample (50.8% male; mean age of 54.9 months at first assessment) and 559 such children from 8 different U.S. locales (49.0% male; approximately 54 months at the first assessment). Norwegian results showed that change in parenting predicted change in student-teacher relationships, but only in the case of children homozygous for the A allele of rs53576 and in a manner consistent with differential-susceptibility theory: for AA carriers, when parenting changed for the worse, so did children's relationship with teachers, whereas when parenting changed for the better, the teacher-child relationships improved accordingly. Such G×E findings could not be replicated in the American sample. Results are discussed in terms of 2 contrasting models of Person-×-Environment interaction (differential susceptibility and diathesis stress) and potential reasons for failure to replicate. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. Oxytocin sharpens self-other perceptual boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colonnello, Valentina; Chen, Frances S; Panksepp, Jaak; Heinrichs, Markus

    2013-12-01

    Recent cross-species research has demonstrated that the neurohormone oxytocin plays a key role in social interaction and cognitive processing of others' emotions. Whereas oxytocin has been shown to influence social approach, trust, and bond formation, a potential role of the oxytocinergic system in blurring or enhancing the ability to differentiate between one's self and other's related stimuli is unknown. Thus, we investigated whether oxytocin affects the ability to differentiate between self- and other-related stimuli using a facial morphing procedure. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind study, 44 healthy men received either 24 IU oxytocin or placebo intranasally. After 45 min, we measured participants' ability to differentiate their own identity while viewing a photo of themselves morphing into the photo of an unfamiliar face. Oxytocin administration shortened the latency of self-other differentiation. Additionally, when asked to rate the pleasantness of the unmorphed photos, the oxytocin-treated participants rated their own and the unfamiliar face as comparably pleasant. Oxytocin increases the ability to recognize differences between self and others and increases positive evaluation of others. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that impaired oxytocin signaling may be involved in the development and manifestation of human psychopathologies in which self-recognition is altered. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Oxytocin inhibits the activity of acid-sensing ion channels through the vasopressin, V1A receptor in primary sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Fang; Qiu, Chun-Yu; Cai, Huilan; Liu, Ting-Ting; Qu, Zu-Wei; Yang, Zhifan; Li, Jia-Da; Zhou, Qun-Yong; Hu, Wang-Ping

    2014-06-01

    A growing number of studies have demonstrated that oxytocin (OT) plays an analgesic role in modulation of nociception and pain. Most work to date has focused on the central mechanisms of OT analgesia, but little is known about whether peripheral mechanisms are also involved. Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are distributed in peripheral sensory neurons and participate in nociception. Here, we investigated the effects of OT on the activity of ASICs in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Electrophysiological experiments were performed on neurons from rat DRG. Nociceptive behaviour was induced by acetic acid in rats and mice lacking vasopressin, V1A receptors. OT inhibited the functional activity of native ASICs. Firstly, OT dose-dependently decreased the amplitude of ASIC currents in DRG neurons. Secondly, OT inhibition of ASIC currents was mimicked by arginine vasopressin (AVP) and completely blocked by the V1A receptor antagonist SR49059, but not by the OT receptor antagonist L-368899. Thirdly, OT altered acidosis-evoked membrane excitability of DRG neurons and significantly decreased the amplitude of the depolarization and number of action potentials induced by acid stimuli. Finally, peripherally administered OT or AVP inhibited nociceptive responses to intraplantar injection of acetic acid in rats. Both OT and AVP also induced an analgesic effect on acidosis-evoked pain in wild-type mice, but not in V1A receptor knockout mice. These results reveal a novel peripheral mechanism for the analgesic effect of OT involving the modulation of native ASICs in primary sensory neurons mediated by V1A receptors. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  9. Conditional Deletion of Hippocampal CA2/CA3a Oxytocin Receptors Impairs the Persistence of Long-Term Social Recognition Memory in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yu-Ting; Hsieh, Tsan-Yu; Tsai, Tsung-Chih; Chen, Chien-Chung; Huang, Chiung-Chun; Hsu, Kuei-Sen

    2018-01-31

    Oxytocin (OXT) receptors (OXTRs) are prominently expressed in hippocampal CA2 and CA3 pyramidal neurons, but little is known about its physiological function. As the functional necessity of hippocampal CA2 for social memory processing, we tested whether CA2 OXTRs may contribute to long-term social recognition memory (SRM) formation. Here, we found that conditional deletion of Oxtr from forebrain (Oxtr-/-) or CA2/CA3a-restricted excitatory neurons in adult male mice impaired the persistence of long-term SRM but had no effect on sociability and preference for social novelty. Conditional deletion of CA2/CA3a Oxtr showed no changes in anxiety-like behavior assessed using the open-field, elevated plus maze and novelty-suppressed feeding tests. Application of a highly selective OXTR agonist [Thr4,Gly7]-OXT to hippocampal slices resulted in an acute and lasting potentiation of excitatory synaptic responses in CA2 pyramidal neurons that relied on N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor activation and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II activity. In addition, Oxtr-/- mice displayed a defect in the induction of long-term potentiation, but not long-term depression, at the synapses between the entorhinal cortex and CA2 pyramidal neurons. Furthermore, Oxtr deletion led to a reduced complexity of basal dendritic arbors of CA2 pyramidal neurons, but caused no alteration in the density of apical dendritic spines. Considering that the methodologies we have used to delete Oxtr do not rule out targeting the neighboring CA3a region, these findings suggest that OXTR signaling in the CA2/CA3a is crucial for the persistence of long-term SRM.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Oxytocin receptors (OXTRs) are abundantly expressed in hippocampal CA2 and CA3 regions, but there are little known about their physiological function. Taking advantage of the conditional Oxtr knock-out mice, the present study highlights the importance of OXTR signaling in the induction of long-term potentiation at the synapses

  10. Integrative approaches utilizing oxytocin to enhance prosocial behavior: from animal and human social behavior to autistic social dysfunction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yamasue, Hidenori; Yee, Jason R; Hurlemann, René; Rilling, James K; Chen, Frances S; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Tost, Heike

    2012-01-01

    .... Thus, identifying causes and treatments is imperative. Here, we briefly review the topics covered in our 2012 Society for Neuroscience Mini-Symposium entitled "Integrative Approaches Using Oxytocin to Enhance Prosocial Behavior...

  11. An eye tracking system for monitoring face scanning patterns reveals the enhancing effect of oxytocin on eye contact in common marmosets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotani, Manato; Shimono, Kohei; Yoneyama, Toshihiro; Nakako, Tomokazu; Matsumoto, Kenji; Ogi, Yuji; Konoike, Naho; Nakamura, Katsuki; Ikeda, Kazuhito

    2017-09-01

    Eye tracking systems are used to investigate eyes position and gaze patterns presumed as eye contact in humans. Eye contact is a useful biomarker of social communication and known to be deficient in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Interestingly, the same eye tracking systems have been used to directly compare face scanning patterns in some non-human primates to those in human. Thus, eye tracking is expected to be a useful translational technique for investigating not only social attention and visual interest, but also the effects of psychiatric drugs, such as oxytocin, a neuropeptide that regulates social behavior. In this study, we report on a newly established method for eye tracking in common marmosets as unique New World primates that, like humans, use eye contact as a mean of communication. Our investigation was aimed at characterizing these primates face scanning patterns and evaluating the effects of oxytocin on their eye contact behavior. We found that normal common marmosets spend more time viewing the eyes region in common marmoset's picture than the mouth region or a scrambled picture. In oxytocin experiment, the change in eyes/face ratio was significantly greater in the oxytocin group than in the vehicle group. Moreover, oxytocin-induced increase in the change in eyes/face ratio was completely blocked by the oxytocin receptor antagonist L-368,899. These results indicate that eye tracking in common marmosets may be useful for evaluating drug candidates targeting psychiatric conditions, especially ASDs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Decreased number of oxytocin neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the human hypothalamus in AIDS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purba, J S; Hofman, M A; Portegies, P; Troost, D; Swaab, D F

    1993-08-01

    The number of immunocytochemically identified vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OXT) neurons was determined morphometrically in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus of 20 acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients and 10 controls. The AIDS group consisted of 14 homosexual males (age range 25-62 years), four of whom had a probable HIV-1 associated dementia complex, and six non-demented heterosexuals (four males and two females, age range 21-73 years). Ten males without a primary neurological or psychiatric disease served as a control group. The number of OXT-expressing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of both groups of AIDS patients was approximately 40% lower than that of the controls. In contrast, the three groups showed no significant differences in the number of AVP-expressing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus. Since there were no significant differences in the number of AVP and OXT cells between the homosexual and heterosexual subjects with AIDS, the morphological difference in the paraventricular nucleus seems to be related to AIDS and not to sexual orientation. No inflammatory changes were found in the paraventricular nucleus area. The selective changes in the OXT neurons of the paraventricular nucleus may be the basis for part of the neuroendocrine, autonomic dysfunction or vegetative symptoms in AIDS.

  13. Interaction between Oxytocin Genotypes and Early Experience Predicts Quality of Mothering and Postpartum Mood

    OpenAIRE

    Viara Mileva-Seitz; Meir Steiner; Leslie Atkinson; Michael J Meaney; Robert Levitan; Kennedy, James L.; Sokolowski, Marla B.; Fleming, Alison S.

    2013-01-01

    Individual differences in maternal behavior are affected by both early life experiences and oxytocin, but little is known about genetic variation in oxytocin genes and its effects on mothering. We examined two polymorphisms in the oxytocin peptide gene OXT (rs2740210 and rs4813627) and one polymorphism in the oxytocin receptor gene OXTR (rs237885) in 187 Caucasian mothers at six months postpartum. For OXT, both rs2740210 and rs4813627 significantly associated with maternal vocalizing to the i...

  14. Benefits of oxytocin administration in obstructive sleep apnea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Vivek; Marbach, Joseph; Kimbro, Shawn; Andrade, David C; Jain, Arad; Capozzi, Eleanor; Mele, Kyle; Del Rio, Rodrigo; Kay, Matthew W; Mendelowitz, David

    2017-11-01

    Activation of oxytocin receptors has shown benefits in animal models of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We tested if nocturnal oxytocin administration could have beneficial effects in OSA patients. Eight patients diagnosed with OSA were administered intranasal oxytocin (40 IU). Changes in cardiorespiratory events during sleep, including apnea and hypopnea durations and frequency, risk of event-associated arousals, and heart rate variability, were assessed. Oxytocin significantly increased indexes of parasympathetic activity, including heart rate variability, total sleep time, and the postpolysommogram sleep assessment score, an index of self-reported sleep satisfaction. Although the apnea-hypopnea index was not significantly changed with oxytocin administration, when apnea and hypopnea events were compared independently, the frequency of hypopneas, but not apneas, was significantly ( P ≤ 0.005) decreased with oxytocin treatment. Both apneas and hypopneas were significantly shortened in duration with oxytocin treatment. Oxytocin treatment significantly decreased the percent of apnea and hypopnea events that were accompanied with an arousal. Oxytocin administration has the potential to restore cardiorespiratory homeostasis and reduce some clinically important (objective and patient-reported) adverse events that occur with OSA. Additional studies are needed to further understand the mechanisms by which oxytocin promotes these changes in cardiorespiratory and autonomic function in OSA patients. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  15. Oxytocin, motivation and the role of dopamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Tiffany M

    2014-04-01

    The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin has drawn the attention of scientists for more than a century. The understanding of the function of oxytocin has expanded dramatically over the years from a simple peptide adept at inducing uterine contractions and milk ejection to a complex neuromodulator with a capacity to shape human social behavior. Decades of research have outlined oxytocin's ability to enhance intricate social activities ranging from pair bonding, sexual activity, affiliative preferences, and parental behaviors. The precise neural mechanisms underlying oxytocin's influence on such behaviors have just begun to be understood. Research suggests that oxytocin interacts closely with the neural pathways responsible for processing motivationally relevant stimuli. In particular, oxytocin appears to impact dopaminergic activity within the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, which is crucial not only for reward and motivated behavior but also for the expression of affiliative behaviors. Though most of the work performed in this area has been done using animal models, several neuroimaging studies suggest similar relationships may be observed in humans. In order to introduce this topic further, this paper will review the recent evidence that oxytocin may exert some of its social-behavioral effects through its impact on motivational networks. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. The effect of intranasal oxytocin treatment on conditioned fear extinction and recall in a healthy human sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acheson, Dean T.; Feifel, David; de Wilde, Sofieke; Mckinney, Rebecca; Lohr, James B.; Risbrough, Victoria B.

    2017-01-01

    Rationale To improve outcomes for patients undergoing extinction-based therapies (e.g. exposure therapy) for anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, there has been interest in identifying pharmaceutical compounds which might facilitate fear extinction learning and recall. Oxytocin (OT) is a mammalian neuropeptide that modulates activation of fear extinction-based neural circuits and fear responses. Little is known however about the effects of OT treatment on conditioned fear responding and extinction in humans. Objectives The purpose of the present study was to assess the effects of OT in a fear-potentiated startle task of fear conditioning and extinction. Methods A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 44 healthy human participants was conducted. Participants underwent a conditioned fear acquisition procedure, after which they were randomized to treatment group and delivered OT (24 IU) or placebo via intranasal spray. Forty-five min after treatment, participants underwent extinction training. Twenty-four hrs later subjects were tested for extinction recall. Results Relative to placebo, the OT group showed increased fear potentiated startle responding during the earliest stage of extinction training relative to placebo, however all treatment groups showed the same level of reduced responding by the end of extinction training. Twenty-four hours later the OT group showed significantly higher recall of extinction relative to placebo. Conclusions The current study provides preliminary evidence that OT may facilitate fear extinction recall in humans. These results support further study of OT as a potential adjunctive treatment for extinction-based therapies in fear-related disorders. PMID:23644911

  17. Atrial natriuretic peptide production and natriuretic peptide receptors in the human uterus and their effect on myometrial relaxation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cootauco, Alice C; Murphy, Jamie D; Maleski, Jerome; Blakemore, Karin J; Slodzinski, Martin K

    2008-10-01

    The objective of the study was to identify the effect of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) on uterine contractility, production of ANP, and natriuretic peptide receptor (NPR) expression in human myometrial tissue. In an institutional review board-approved study, gravid human myometrium was obtained from patients undergoing cesarean section. Uterine contractility was examined using isometric force tension studies. After regular uterine contractions were obtained with oxytocin, ANP was added in increasing concentrations. ANP concentration was measured from myometrial tissue using radioimmunoassay (RIA). Primary myometrial cell culture was performed and treated with nifedipine vs oxytocin. RIA was performed on these cells and the cell culture media. Western blot analysis was performed on uterine tissue samples for natriuretic peptide receptors. With increasing concentration of ANP (starting at 3 pM), myometrial contraction frequency decreased. ANP was identified in primary cultured myometrial cells and cell culture media. Myometrial ANP concentration increased with advancing gestational age. The concentration of ANP decreased within myometrial cells treated with oxytocin. The amount of ANP in the cell culture media increased from cells treated with nifedipine. Western blot identified NPR-A, -B, and -C in myometrial tissue. NPR-A expression was significantly increased in preterm samples. ANP has a dose dependent effect on uterine relaxation. ANP is present in human myometrial cells and appears to be secreted by myometrial cells. The concentration of ANP may vary with gestational age and modulators of uterine contractility. NPR-A, -B, and -C receptor proteins are present in myometrial tissue. NPR-A levels may correlate with gestational age.

  18. Oxytocin and Psychiatric Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gokce Nur Say

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is a neuropeptide that plays critical role in mother-infant bonding, pair bonding and prosocial behaviors. Several neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, alcohol/substance addiction, aggression, suicide, eating disorders and personality disorders show abnormalities of oxytocin system. These findings have given rise to the studies searching therapeutic use of oxytocin for psychi-atric disorders. The studies of oxytocin interventions in psychiatric disorders yielded potentially promising findings. This paper reviews the role of oxytocin in emotions, behavior and its effects in psychiatric disorders. [Psikiyatride Guncel Yaklasimlar - Current Approaches in Psychiatry 2016; 8(2: 102-113

  19. The two fold role of oxytocin in social developmental disorders: A cause and a remedy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefevre, Arthur; Sirigu, Angela

    2016-04-01

    Oxytocin is widely used by obstetricians to induce or facilitate labor. The long lasting consequences of oxytocin administration remain however unknown. Here, we discuss recent evidence suggesting a link between oxytocin labor induction and developmental social impairments such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Because these associations are methodologically questionable, we provide a review of animal studies investigating the long term effects of neonatal injection of oxytocin to shed light on the biological mechanisms that mediate the contribution of early oxytocin supplementation on the development of social impairments. In contrast to this potential negative impact on development, oxytocin has been shown to ameliorate social skills of ASD patients. However, results of chronic oxytocin administration from animal experiments are contradictory. We also review recent studies looking at chronic oxytocin effects in animal and in humans. Obstetric and psychiatric uses of exogenous oxytocin both impact on oxytocinergic neurotransmission but the effects may be sharply dissimilar. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Rigorous tests of gene-environment interactions in a lab study of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR), alcohol exposure, and aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LoParo, Devon; Johansson, Ada; Walum, Hasse; Westberg, Lars; Santtila, Pekka; Waldman, Irwin

    2016-07-01

    Naturalistic studies of gene-environment interactions (G X E) have been plagued by several limitations, including difficulty isolating specific environmental risk factors from other correlated aspects of the environment, gene-environment correlation (rGE ), and the use of a single genetic variant to represent the influence of a gene. We present results from 235 Finnish young men in two lab studies of aggression and alcohol challenge that attempt to redress these limitations of the extant G X E literature. Specifically, we use a latent variable modeling approach in an attempt to more fully account for genetic variation across the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and to robustly test its main effects on aggression and its interaction with alcohol exposure. We also modeled aggression as a latent variable comprising various indices, including the average and maximum levels of aggression, the earliest trial on which aggression was expressed, and the proportion of trials on which the minimum and maximum levels of aggression were expressed. The best fitting model for the genetic variation across OXTR included six factors derived from an exploratory factor analysis, roughly corresponding to six haplotype blocks. Aggression levels were higher on trials in which participants were administered alcohol, won, or were provoked. There was a significant main effect of OXTR on aggression across studies after controlling for covariates. The interaction of OXTR and alcohol was also significant across studies, such that OXTR had stronger effects on aggression in the alcohol administration condition. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. The Oxytocin Receptor Gene (OXTR) in Relation to State Levels of Loneliness in Adolescence: Evidence for Micro-Level Gene-Environment Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Roekel, Eeske; Verhagen, Maaike; Scholte, Ron H. J.; Kleinjan, Marloes; Goossens, Luc; Engels, Rutger C. M. E.

    2013-01-01

    Previous research has shown that the rs53576 variant of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) is associated with trait levels of loneliness, but results are inconsistent. The aim of the present study is to examine micro-level effects of the OXTR rs53576 variant on state levels of loneliness in early adolescents. In addition, gene-environment interactions are examined between this OXTR variant and positive and negative perceptions of company. Data were collected in 278 adolescents (58% girls), by means of the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). Sampling periods consisted of six days with nine assessments per day. A relation was found between the OXTR rs53576 variant and state loneliness, in girls only. Girls carrying an A allele had higher levels of state loneliness than girls carrying the GG genotype. In addition, adolescents with an A allele were more affected by negative perceptions of company than GG carriers, on weekend days only. No significant gene-environment interactions were found with positive company. Adolescents carrying an A allele were more susceptible to negative environments during weekend days than GG carriers. Our findings emphasize the importance of operationalizing the phenotype and the environment accurately. PMID:24223720

  2. The oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR in relation to state levels of loneliness in adolescence: evidence for micro-level gene-environment interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eeske van Roekel

    Full Text Available Previous research has shown that the rs53576 variant of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR is associated with trait levels of loneliness, but results are inconsistent. The aim of the present study is to examine micro-level effects of the OXTR rs53576 variant on state levels of loneliness in early adolescents. In addition, gene-environment interactions are examined between this OXTR variant and positive and negative perceptions of company. Data were collected in 278 adolescents (58% girls, by means of the Experience Sampling Method (ESM. Sampling periods consisted of six days with nine assessments per day. A relation was found between the OXTR rs53576 variant and state loneliness, in girls only. Girls carrying an A allele had higher levels of state loneliness than girls carrying the GG genotype. In addition, adolescents with an A allele were more affected by negative perceptions of company than GG carriers, on weekend days only. No significant gene-environment interactions were found with positive company. Adolescents carrying an A allele were more susceptible to negative environments during weekend days than GG carriers. Our findings emphasize the importance of operationalizing the phenotype and the environment accurately.

  3. Molecular pharmacology of human NMDA receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hedegaard, Maiken; Hansen, Kasper Bø; Andersen, Karen Toftegaard

    2012-01-01

    current knowledge of the relationship between NMDA receptor structure and function. We summarize studies on the biophysical properties of human NMDA receptors and compare these properties to those of rat orthologs. Finally, we provide a comprehensive pharmacological characterization that allows side......-by-side comparison of agonists, un-competitive antagonists, GluN2B-selective non-competitive antagonists, and GluN2C/D-selective modulators at recombinant human and rat NMDA receptors. The evaluation of biophysical properties and pharmacological probes acting at different sites on the receptor suggest...... that the binding sites and conformational changes leading to channel gating in response to agonist binding are highly conserved between human and rat NMDA receptors. In summary, the results of this study suggest that no major detectable differences exist in the pharmacological and functional properties of human...

  4. Human umbilical cord expresses several vasoactive peptides involved in the local regulation of vascular tone: protein and gene expression of Orphanin, Oxytocin, ANP, eNOS and iNOS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo Gerbino

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Full-term human umbilical cord contains three blood vessels: two arteries coiled around a vein and surrounded by Wharton’s jelly, a mucous tissue with few mesenchymal stromal cells and abundant extracellular matrix. Umbilical vessels lack innervations, thus endothelial cells must play a role in the control of blood flow. The aim of this study was to investigate in human umbilical cord the expression of five peptides that could be involved in the regulation of vascular tone: Orphanin FQ, Oxytocin, Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANP, endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS and inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS. The expression of these molecules in full-term human umbilical cord was investigated through immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Immunoreactivity for Orphanin FQ was detected in Wharton’s jelly, vessel musculature and endothelium; Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS were expressed by the umbilical epithelium, Wharton’s jelly and endothelium, whereas iNOS only by endothelial cells. RT-PCR analysis showed transcriptional expression of Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS mRNAs. The presence of Orphanin, Oxytocin, ANP, eNOS and iNOS proteins was identified in the human umbilical cord. mRNA expression for Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS suggest that these molecules are synthesized by umbilical cord cells themselves. The expression of these vasoactive molecules could be part of a general mechanism locally regulating vascular tone. (Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica 2011; Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 211–218

  5. Human umbilical cord expresses several vasoactive peptides involved in the local regulation of vascular tone: protein and gene expression of Orphanin, Oxytocin, ANP, eNOS and iNOS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauro, Annamaria; Buscemi, Maria; Provenzano, Salvatore; Gerbino, Aldo

    2011-01-01

    Full-term human umbilical cord contains three blood vessels: two arteries coiled around a vein and surrounded by Wharton's jelly, a mucous tissue with few mesenchymal stromal cells and abundant extracellular matrix. Umbilical vessels lack innervations, thus endothelial cells must play a role in the control of blood flow. The aim of this study was to investigate in human umbilical cord the expression of five peptides that could be involved in the regulation of vascular tone: Orphanin FQ, Oxytocin, Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANP), endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) and inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS). The expression of these molecules in full-term human umbilical cord was investigated through immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Immunoreactivity for Orphanin FQ was detected in Wharton's jelly, vessel musculature and endothelium; Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS were expressed by the umbilical epithelium, Wharton's jelly and endothelium, whereas iNOS only by endothelial cells. RT-PCR analysis showed transcriptional expression of Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS mRNAs. The presence of Orphanin, Oxytocin, ANP, eNOS and iNOS proteins was identified in the human umbilical cord. mRNA expression for Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS suggest that these molecules are synthesized by umbilical cord cells themselves. The expression of these vasoactive molecules could be part of a general mechanism locally regulating vascular tone.

  6. Oxytocin: a short review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. F. Levay

    1993-07-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is traditionally associated with parturition and lactation. The similarity in oxytocin plasma levels in males and females implies a wider physiological role for the hormone. Oxytocin would now appear to be involved not only in milk ejection, but also in the production of milk. The hormone has further been shown to play a paracrine role in menstruation and to be of importance for normal fertilisation. Several endocrine modulatory as well as neurotransmitter effects have also been reported for oxytocin. The discovery of the role of oxytocin in central nervous system processes such as pain, anxiety, memory and learning has stimuluted a search for possible therapeutic applications of oxytocin in cases such as chronic pain and Alzheimer’s disease. A short review is presented of some of the biochemical and physiological aspects underlying the functions and possible therapeutic applications of oxytocin.

  7. Brain Oxytocin in Social Fear Conditioning and Its Extinction: Involvement of the Lateral Septum

    OpenAIRE

    Zoicas, Iulia; Slattery, David A.; Neumann, Inga D

    2014-01-01

    Central oxytocin (OXT) has anxiolytic and pro-social properties both in humans and rodents, and has been proposed as a therapeutic option for anxiety and social dysfunctions. Here, we utilized a mouse model of social fear conditioning (SFC) to study the effects of OXT on social fear, and to determine whether SFC causes alterations in central OXT receptor (OXTR) binding and local OXT release. Central infusion of OXT, but not arginine vasopressin, prior to social fear extinction training comple...

  8. Long-lasting spinal oxytocin analgesia is ensured by the stimulation of allopregnanolone synthesis which potentiates GABA(A) receptor-mediated synaptic inhibition

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Juif, Pierre-Eric; Breton, Jean-Didier; Rajalu, Mathieu; Charlet, Alexandre; Goumon, Yannick; Poisbeau, Pierrick

    2013-01-01

    Hypothalamospinal control of spinal pain processing by oxytocin (OT) has received a lot of attention in recent years because of its potency to reduce pain symptoms in inflammatory and neuropathic conditions...

  9. Oxytocin stimulates cell proliferation in vaginal cell line Vk2E6E7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallak, Theodora K; Uvnäs-Moberg, Kerstin

    2017-03-01

    Objective During and after menopause, the symptoms of vaginal atrophy cause great discomfort and necessitate effective treatment options. Currently, vaginally applied oxytocin is being investigated as a treatment for the symptoms of vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women. To clarify the mechanisms behind oxytocins effects on vaginal atrophy, the present study investigated the effects of oxytocin on cell proliferation in the cells of the Vk2E6E7 line, a non-tumour vaginal cell line. The study also compared the effects of oxytocin with those of estradiol (E2). Study design The effects of both oxytocin and E2 on the proliferation of Vk2E6E7 cells were investigated using Cell Proliferation ELISA BrdU Colorimetric Assay. The expression of both oxytocin and oxytocin receptor was studied in Vk2E6E7 cells using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescent staining. Main outcome measures Cell proliferation and gene expression. Results Oxytocin increased cell proliferation both time dependently and dose dependently. This differed from the effect pattern observed in cells treated with E2. In addition, in oxytocin-treated cells, the oxytocin receptor was found to be co-localized with caveolin-1, indicating pro-proliferative signalling within the cell. Conclusions Oxytocin stimulates cell proliferation and the co-localization of oxytocin receptor with caveolin-1 in oxytocin-treated cells, supporting the role of oxytocin signalling in cell proliferation. In addition, these findings suggest that increased cell proliferation is one mechanism by which local vaginal oxytocin treatment increases vaginal thickness and relieves vaginal symptoms in postmenopausal women with vaginal atrophy.

  10. The vasopressin and oxytocin neurons in the human supraoptic and paraventricular nucleus; changes with aging and in senile dementia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fliers, E.; Swaab, D. F.; Pool, C. W.; Verwer, R. W.

    1985-01-01

    The neuropeptides vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OXT) are supposed to be involved not only in peripheral functions (e.g. diuresis, labour and lactation) but also in central processes that are frequently disturbed during aging and senile dementia (e.g. fluid and electrolyte homeostasis and cognitive

  11. Oxytocin mediated behavior in invertebrates: An evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockard, Meghan A; Ebert, Margaret S; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2017-02-01

    The molecular and functional conservation of oxytocin-related neuropeptides in behavior is striking. In animals separated by at least 600 million years of evolution, from roundworms to humans, oxytocin homologs play critical roles in the modulation of reproductive behavior and other biological functions. Here, we review the roles of oxytocin in invertebrate behavior from an evolutionary perspective. We begin by tracing the evolution of oxytocin through the invertebrate animal lineages, and then describe common themes in invertebrate behaviors that are mediated by oxytocin-related peptides, including reproductive behavior, learning and memory, food arousal, and predator/prey relationships. Finally, we discuss interesting future directions that have recently become experimentally tractable. Studying oxytocin in invertebrates offers precise insights into the activity of neuropeptides on well-defined neural circuits; the principles that emerge may also be represented in the more complex vertebrate brain. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 128-142, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. REVIEW: Oxytocin: Crossing the bridge between basic science and pharmacotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viero, Cedric; Shibuya, Izumi; Kitamura, Naoki; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Fujihara, Hiroaki; Katoh, Akiko; Ueta, Yoichi; Zingg, Hans H; Chvatal, Alexandr; Sykova, Eva; Dayanithi, Govindan

    2010-10-01

    Is oxytocin the hormone of happiness? Probably not. However, this small nine amino acid peptide is involved in a wide variety of physiological and pathological functions such as sexual activity, penile erection, ejaculation, pregnancy, uterus contraction, milk ejection, maternal behavior, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, social bonding, and stress, which makes oxytocin and its receptor potential candidates as targets for drug therapy. In this review, we address the issues of drug design and specificity and focus our discussion on recent findings on oxytocin and its heterotrimeric G protein-coupled receptor OTR. In this regard, we will highlight the following topics: (i) the role of oxytocin in behavior and affectivity, (ii) the relationship between oxytocin and stress with emphasis on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, (iii) the involvement of oxytocin in pain regulation and nociception, (iv) the specific action mechanisms of oxytocin on intracellular Ca²(+) in the hypothalamo neurohypophysial system (HNS) cell bodies, (v) newly generated transgenic rats tagged by a visible fluorescent protein to study the physiology of vasopressin and oxytocin, and (vi) the action of the neurohypophysial hormone outside the central nervous system, including the myometrium, heart and peripheral nervous system. As a short nine amino acid peptide, closely related to its partner peptide vasopressin, oxytocin appears to be ideal for the design of agonists and antagonists of its receptor. In addition, not only the hormone itself and its binding to OTR, but also its synthesis, storage and release can be endogenously and exogenously regulated to counteract pathophysiological states. Understanding the fundamental physiopharmacology of the effects of oxytocin is an important and necessary approach for developing a potential pharmacotherapy. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. Oxytocin: Crossing the Bridge between Basic Science and Pharmacotherapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viero, Cedric; Shibuya, Izumi; Kitamura, Naoki; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Fujihara, Hiroaki; Katoh, Akiko; Ueta, Yoichi; Zingg, Hans H; Chvatal, Alexandr; Sykova, Eva; Dayanithi, Govindan

    2010-01-01

    Is oxytocin the hormone of happiness? Probably not. However, this small nine amino acid peptide is involved in a wide variety of physiological and pathological functions such as sexual activity, penile erection, ejaculation, pregnancy, uterus contraction, milk ejection, maternal behavior, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, social bonding, and stress, which makes oxytocin and its receptor potential candidates as targets for drug therapy. In this review, we address the issues of drug design and specificity and focus our discussion on recent findings on oxytocin and its heterotrimeric G protein-coupled receptor OTR. In this regard, we will highlight the following topics: (i) the role of oxytocin in behavior and affectivity, (ii) the relationship between oxytocin and stress with emphasis on the hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal axis, (iii) the involvement of oxytocin in pain regulation and nociception, (iv) the specific action mechanisms of oxytocin on intracellular Ca2+ in the hypothalamo neurohypophysial system (HNS) cell bodies, (v) newly generated transgenic rats tagged by a visible fluorescent protein to study the physiology of vasopressin and oxytocin, and (vi) the action of the neurohypophysial hormone outside the central nervous system, including the myometrium, heart and peripheral nervous system. As a short nine amino acid peptide, closely related to its partner peptide vasopressin, oxytocin appears to be ideal for the design of agonists and antagonists of its receptor. In addition, not only the hormone itself and its binding to OTR, but also its synthesis, storage and release can be endogenously and exogenously regulated to counteract pathophysiological states. Understanding the fundamental physiopharmacology of the effects of oxytocin is an important and necessary approach for developing a potential pharmacotherapy. PMID:20626426

  14. Inhaled oxytocin increases positive social behaviors in newborn macaques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Elizabeth A.; Sclafani, Valentina; Paukner, Annika; Hamel, Amanda F.; Novak, Melinda A.; Meyer, Jerrold S.; Suomi, Stephen J.; Ferrari, Pier Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Early caregiver–infant interactions are critical for infants’ socioemotional and cognitive development. Several hormones and neuromodulators, including oxytocin, affect these interactions. Exogenous oxytocin promotes social behaviors in several species, including human and nonhuman primates. Although exogenous oxytocin increases social function in adults—including expression recognition and affiliation—it is unknown whether oxytocin can increase social interactions in infants. We hypothesized that nebulized oxytocin would increase affiliative social behaviors and such effects would be modulated by infants’ social skills, measured earlier in development. We also hypothesized that oxytocin’s effects on social behaviors may be due to its anxiolytic effects. We tested these hypotheses in a blind study by nebulizing 7- to 14-d-old macaques (n = 28) with oxytocin or saline. Following oxytocin administration, infants’ facial gesturing at a human caregiver increased, and infants’ salivary oxytocin was positively correlated with the time spent in close proximity to a caregiver. Infants’ imitative skill (measured earlier in development: 1–7 d of age) predicted oxytocin-associated increases in affiliative behaviors—lip smacking, visual attention to a caregiver, and time in close proximity to a caregiver—suggesting that infants with higher propensities for positive social interactions are more sensitive to exogenous oxytocin. Oxytocin also decreased salivary cortisol, but not stress-related behaviors (e.g., scratching), suggesting the possibility of some anxiolytic effects. To our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence that oxytocin increases positive social behaviors in newborns. This information is of critical importance for potential interventions aimed at ameliorating inadequate social behaviors in infants with higher likelihood of developing neurodevelopmental disorder. PMID:24778211

  15. Oxytocin modulates cooperation within and competition between groups: an integrative review and research agenda

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Dreu, C.K.W.

    2012-01-01

    The author reviews evidence that hypothalamic release (or infusion) of the neuropeptide oxytocin modulates the regulation of cooperation and conflict among humans because of three reasons. First, oxytocin enables social categorization of others into in-group versus out-group. Second, oxytocin

  16. Chronic Oxytocin Administration as a Treatment Against Impaired Leptin Signaling or Leptin Resistance in Obesity

    OpenAIRE

    Altirriba Jordi; Poher Anne-Laure; Rohner-Jeanrenaud Françoise

    2015-01-01

    This review summarizes the existing literature on the effects of oxytocin administration in the treatment of obesity in different animal models and in humans focusing on the central control of food intake the oxytocin effects on adipose tissue and the relationships between oxytocin and leptin. Oxytocin is a hypothalamic nonapeptide synthesized mainly in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei projecting to the pituitary where it reaches the peripheral circulation as well as to other brain r...

  17. Differential colocalization of estrogen receptor β (ERβ) with oxytocin and vasopressin in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the female rat brain: An immunocytochemical study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Stephen E.; Lopez, Veronica; McEwen, Bruce S.; Weiland, Nancy G.

    1998-01-01

    Evidence exists for the localization of the newly identified estrogen receptor β (ERβ) within the rat paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON), regions which lack ERα. Presently, we investigate whether ERβ-like-immunoreactivity (-ir) is found within cells of several major neuropeptide systems of these regions. Young adult Sprague–Dawley rats were ovariectomized (OVX), and 1 week later half of the animals received estradiol-17β (E). Dual-label immunocytochemistry was performed on adjacent sections by using an ERβ antibody, followed by an antibody to either oxytocin (OT), arginine-vasopressin (AVP), or corticotropin releasing hormone. Nuclear ERβ-ir was identified within SON and retrochiasmatic SON, and in specific PVN subnuclei: medial parvicellular part, ventral and dorsal zones, dorsal and lateral parvicellular parts, and in the posterior magnocellular part, medial and lateral zones. However, the ERβ-ir within magnocellular areas was noticeably less intense. OT-/ERβ-ir colocalization was confirmed in neurons of the parvicellular subnuclei, in both OVX and OVX+E brains (≈50% of OT and 25% of ERβ-labeled cells between bregma −1.78 and −2.00). In contrast, few PVN parvicellular neurons contained both AVP- and ERβ-ir. As well, very little overlap was observed in the distribution of cells containing corticotropin releasing hormone- or ERβ-ir. In the SON, most nuclear ERβ-ir colocalized with AVP-ir, whereas few OT-/ERβ-ir dual-labeled cells were observed. These findings suggest that estrogen can directly modulate specific OT and AVP systems through an ERβ-mediated mechanism, in a tissue-specific manner. PMID:9501254

  18. Oxytocin receptors are expressed on dopamine and glutamate neurons in the mouse ventral tegmental area that project to nucleus accumbens and other mesolimbic targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peris, Joanna; MacFadyen, Kaley; Smith, Justin A; de Kloet, Annette D; Wang, Lei; Krause, Eric G

    2017-04-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine (DA) circuitry determines which behaviors are positively reinforcing and therefore should be encoded in the memory to become a part of the behavioral repertoire. Natural reinforcers, like food and sex, activate this pathway, thereby increasing the likelihood of further consummatory, social, and sexual behaviors. Oxytocin (OT) has been implicated in mediating natural reward and OT-synthesizing neurons project to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc); however, direct neuroanatomical evidence of OT regulation of DA neurons within the VTA is sparse. To phenotype OT-receptor (OTR) expressing neurons originating within the VTA, we delivered Cre-inducible adeno-associated virus that drives the expression of fluorescent marker into the VTA of male mice that had Cre-recombinase driven by OTR gene expression. OTR-expressing VTA neurons project to NAc, prefrontal cortex, the extended amygdala, and other forebrain regions but less than 10% of these OTR-expressing neurons were identified as DA neurons (defined by tyrosine hydroxylase colocalization). Instead, almost 50% of OTR-expressing cells in the VTA were glutamate (GLU) neurons, as indicated by expression of mRNA for the vesicular GLU transporter (vGluT). About one-third of OTR-expressing VTA neurons did not colocalize with either DA or GLU phenotypic markers. Thus, OTR expression by VTA neurons implicates that OT regulation of reward circuitry is more complex than a direct action on DA neurotransmission. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1094-1108, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Oxytocin receptor neurotransmission in the dorsolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis facilitates the acquisition of cued fear in the fear-potentiated startle paradigm in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moaddab, Mahsa; Dabrowska, Joanna

    2017-07-15

    Oxytocin (OT) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that modulates fear and anxiety-like behaviors. Dorsolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST dl ) plays a critical role in the regulation of fear and anxiety, and expresses high levels of OT receptor (OTR). However, the role of OTR neurotransmission within the BNST dl in mediating these behaviors is unknown. Here, we used adult male Sprague-Dawley rats to investigate the role of OTR neurotransmission in the BNST dl in the modulation of the acoustic startle response, as well as in the acquisition and consolidation of conditioned fear using fear potentiated startle (FPS) paradigm. Bilateral intra-BNST dl administration of OT (100 ng) did not affect the acquisition of conditioned fear response. However, intra-BNST dl administration of specific OTR antagonist (OTA), (d(CH 2 ) 5 1 , Tyr(Me) 2 , Thr 4 , Orn 8 , des-Gly-NH 2 9 )-vasotocin, (200 ng), prior to the fear conditioning session, impaired the acquisition of cued fear, without affecting a non-cued fear component of FPS. Neither OTA, nor OT affected baseline startle or shock reactivity during fear conditioning. Therefore, the observed impairment of cued fear after OTA infusion resulted from the specific effect on the formation of cued fear. In contrast to the acquisition, neither OTA nor OT affected the consolidation of FPS, when administered after the completion of fear conditioning session. Taken together, these results reveal the important role of OTR neurotransmission in the BNST dl in the formation of conditioned fear to a discrete cue. This study also highlights the role of the BNST dl in learning to discriminate between threatening and safe stimuli. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Moderation of maltreatment effects on childhood borderline personality symptoms by gender and oxytocin receptor and FK506 binding protein 5 genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicchetti, Dante; Rogosch, Fred A; Hecht, Kathryn F; Crick, Nicki R; Hetzel, Susan

    2014-08-01

    In this investigation, gene-environment-gender interaction effects in predicting child borderline personality disorder symptomatology among maltreated and nonmaltreated low-income children (N = 1,051) were examined. In the context of a summer research camp, adult-, peer-, and self-report assessments of borderline precursor indicators were obtained, as well as child self-report on the Borderline Personality Features Scale for Children. Genetic variants of the oxytocin receptor genotype and the FK506 binding protein 5 gene CATT haplotype were investigated. Children who self-reported high levels of borderline personality symptomatology were differentiated by adults, peers, and additional self-report on indicators of emotional instability, conflictual relationships with peers and adults, preoccupied attachment, and indicators of self-harm and suicidal ideation. Maltreated children also were more likely to evince many of these difficulties relative to nonmaltreated children. A series of analyses of covariance, controlling for age and ancestrally informative markers, indicated significant Maltreatment × Gene × Gender three-way interactions. Consideration of the maltreatment parameters of subtype, onset, and recency expanded understanding of variation among maltreated children. The three-way interaction effects demonstrated differential patterns among girls and boys. Among girls, the gene-environment interaction was more consistent with a diathesis-stress model, whereas among boys a differential-sensitivity interaction effect was indicated. Moreover, the genetic variants associated with greater risk for higher borderline symptomatology, dependent on maltreatment experiences, were opposite in girls compared to boys. The findings have important implications for understanding variability in early predictors of borderline personality pathology.

  1. [Oxytocin and postpartum depression].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardaillac, C; Rua, C; Simon, E G; El-Hage, W

    2016-10-01

    Postpartum depression (PPD) is prevalent (about 10%) with a major impact on the mother and child health. At the hormonal level, poor regulation of oxytocin rate has a key role in depression. Recently, oxytocin has been used on psychiatric therapy, intranasal or intravenously, particularly in mood disorders. But, in obstetrics, this molecule is administered during childbirth. The objective of this study was to determine if intravenous administration of oxytocin could influence thymic state of the mother in the postpartum period. Literature review, after consultation of Pubmed and Sciencedirect databases, with the following keywords: oxytocin, postpartum depression, pregnancy, social behavior. The effects of oxytocin in the PPD are part of a multifactorial mechanism (hormonal and social) that influences the hormonal effects of oxytocin. Oxytocin use in therapeutic was able to give conclusive results in psychiatry, the way and the optimal method of administration are not known. PPD is associated with administrated oxytocin during labour. Physiopathology remains unknown. It is possible that oxytocin administered during childbirth is related with the onset or worsening of the PPD without defining if it's a cause or a consequence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. Neurobiological underpinnings of dogs' human-like social competence: How interactions between stress response systems and oxytocin mediate dogs' social skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttner, Alicia Phillips

    2016-12-01

    Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) have been suggested as a natural model for human social cognition, possessing social skills that are in many ways functionally analogous to those of young humans. Researchers have debated the origins of dogs' human-like social competence and the underlying cognitive mechanisms, but only recently have researchers begun to explore their neurobiological underpinnings. In this review, findings from behavioral studies are integrated with what is known about the biological basis of dogs' human-directed social competence, with an emphasis on how stress-mediating systems, particularly the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, interact with oxytocin and underlying neural systems to facilitate dogs' interspecific social-cognitive abilities. The working model presented in this paper offers a biological explanation for many of the inconsistent findings from past work on social cognition in dogs and generates questions for future research in the field of canine social competence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Oxytocin modulation of neural circuits for social behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marlin, Bianca J; Froemke, Robert C

    2017-02-01

    Oxytocin is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that has gained attention for the effects on social behavior. Recent findings shed new light on the mechanisms of oxytocin in synaptic plasticity and adaptively modifying neural circuits for social interactions such as conspecific recognition, pair bonding, and maternal care. Here, we review several of these newer studies on oxytocin in the context of previous findings, with an emphasis on social behavior and circuit plasticity in various brain regions shown to be enriched for oxytocin receptors. We provide a framework that highlights current circuit-level mechanisms underlying the widespread action of oxytocin. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 169-189, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Fto colocalizes with a satiety mediator oxytocin in the brain and upregulates oxytocin gene expression

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olszewski, Pawel K., E-mail: olsze005@umn.edu [Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala (Sweden); Minnesota Obesity Center, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (United States); Fredriksson, Robert; Eriksson, Jenny D. [Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala (Sweden); Mitra, Anaya [Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (United States); Radomska, Katarzyna J. [Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala (Sweden); Gosnell, Blake A. [Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (United States); Solvang, Maria N. [Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala (Sweden); Levine, Allen S. [Minnesota Obesity Center, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (United States); Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (United States); Schioeth, Helgi B. [Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, 75124 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2011-05-13

    Highlights: {yields} The majority of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin, coexpress Fto. {yields} The level of colocalization is similar in the male and female brain. {yields} Fto overexpression in hypothalamic neurons increases oxytocin mRNA levels by 50%. {yields} Oxytocin does not affect Fto expression through negative feedback mechanisms. -- Abstract: Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene have been associated with obesity in humans. Alterations in Fto expression in transgenic animals affect body weight, energy expenditure and food intake. Fto, a nuclear protein and proposed transcription co-factor, has been speculated to affect energy balance through a functional relationship with specific genes encoding feeding-related peptides. Herein, we employed double immunohistochemistry and showed that the majority of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin, coexpress Fto in the brain of male and female mice. We then overexpressed Fto in a murine hypothalamic cell line and, using qPCR, detected a 50% increase in the level of oxytocin mRNA. Expression levels of several other feeding-related genes, including neuropeptide Y (NPY) and Agouti-related protein (AgRP), were unaffected by the FTO transfection. Addition of 10 and 100 nmol oxytocin to the cell culture medium did not affect Fto expression in hypothalamic cells. We conclude that Fto, a proposed transcription co-factor, influences expression of the gene encoding a satiety mediator, oxytocin.

  5. Increased oxytocin concentrations and prosocial feelings in humans after ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) administration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumont, G J H; Sweep, F C G J; van der Steen, R; Hermsen, R; Donders, A R T; Touw, D J; van Gerven, J M A; Buitelaar, J K; Verkes, R J

    2009-01-01

    MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or "ecstasy") is a recreationally used drug with remarkable and characteristic prosocial effects. In spite of abundant attention in the scientific literature, the mechanism of its prosocial effects has not been elucidated in humans. Recently, research in

  6. Oxytocin is not involved in luteolysis and early maternal recognition of pregnancy (MRP) in alpacas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciccarelli, Michela; Waqas, Muhammad Salman; Pru, James K; Tibary, Ahmed

    2017-12-01

    Pregnancy maintenance depends on the maternal recognition of pregnancy (MRP), a physiological process by which the lifespan of the corpus luteum is prolonged. This mechanism is not well characterized in camelids. The objectives of the present research were to determine if exogenous oxytocin prolongs the corpus luteum activity in alpacas and to evaluate expression and localization of oxytocin receptors within the endometrium at 9 and 14days post-mating. In the oxytocin studies, plasma progesterone profiles were determined after ovulation in the same alpacas on 2 cycles: one cycle without oxytocin treatment and one cycle with oxytocin treatment. Oxytocin was administered daily by intramuscular injections (IM) at a dose of 20IU (experiment 1, n=6) or 60IU (experiment 2, n=7 from day 3 through day 10 after induction of ovulation with GnRH IM. There was no significant difference in the length of the luteal phase (i.e. corpus luteum lifespan) between the treated and control cycles using either 20 or 60IU of oxytocin. In the final experiment, uteri from open and pregnant alpacas (n=4 per group) at 9 and 14days post-mating were evaluated for expressions of oxytocin receptors by immunohistochemistry. No significant difference (P≤0.05) in the expression of oxytocin receptors was observed between open and pregnant animals in either staining intensity or tissue localization. We conclude that oxytocin is not involved in luteolysis and early MRP in alpacas. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Prolactin regulation of oxytocin neurone activity in pregnancy and lactation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustine, Rachael A; Ladyman, Sharon R; Bouwer, Gregory T; Alyousif, Yousif; Sapsford, Tony J; Scott, Victoria; Kokay, Ilona C; Grattan, David R; Brown, Colin H

    2017-06-01

    During lactation, prolactin promotes milk synthesis and oxytocin stimulates milk ejection. In virgin rats, prolactin inhibits the activity of oxytocin-secreting neurones. We found that prolactin inhibition of oxytocin neurone activity is lost in lactation, and that some oxytocin neurones were excited by prolactin in lactating rats. The change in prolactin regulation of oxytocin neurone activity was not associated with a change in activation of intracellular signalling pathways known to couple to prolactin receptors. The change in prolactin regulation of oxytocin neurone activity in lactation might allow coordinated activation of both populations of neurones when required for successful lactation. Secretion of prolactin for milk synthesis and oxytocin for milk secretion is required for successful lactation. In virgin rats, prolactin inhibits oxytocin neurones but this effect would be counterproductive during lactation when secretion of both hormones is required for synthesis and delivery of milk to the newborn. Hence, we determined the effects of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) prolactin on oxytocin neurones in urethane-anaesthetised virgin, pregnant and lactating rats. Prolactin (2 μg) consistently inhibited oxytocin neurones in virgin and pregnant rats (by 1.9 ± 0.4 and 1.8 ± 0.5 spikes s -1 , respectively), but not in lactating rats; indeed, prolactin excited six of 27 oxytocin neurones by >1 spike s -1 in lactating rats but excited none in virgin or pregnant rats (χ 2 2  = 7.2, P = 0.03). Vasopressin neurones were unaffected by prolactin (2 μg) in virgin rats but were inhibited by 1.1 ± 0.2 spikes s -1 in lactating rats. Immunohistochemistry showed that i.c.v. prolactin increased oxytocin expression in virgin and lactating rats and increased signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 phosphorylation to a similar extent in oxytocin neurones of virgin and lactating rats. Western blotting showed that i.c.v. prolactin did not affect

  8. Inhibition of oxytocin-induced but not angiotensin-induced rat uterine contractions following exposure to sodium sulfide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hayden, L.J.; Franklin, K.J.; Roth, S.H.; Moore, G.J. (Univ. of Calgary, Alberta (Canada))

    1989-01-01

    Low concentrations of sodium sulfide reversibly attenuate the contractile response of the isolate rat uterus to oxytocin without affecting angiotensin II responsiveness. These findings suggest that functionally important disulfide bonds in the rat uterine oxytocin receptor, but not the angiotensin receptor, are sensitive to hydrosulfide ion. Reduction of oxytocin receptors by hydrosulfide ion may be a mechanism by which low level of H{sub 2}S delay parturition in rats.

  9. Oxytocin binding sites in bovine mammary tissue

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Xin.

    1989-01-01

    Oxytocin binding sites were identified and characterized in bovine mammary tissue. ({sup 3}H)-oxytocin binding reached equilibrium by 50 min at 20{degree}C and by 8 hr at 4{degree}C. The half-time of displacement at 20{degree}C was approximately 1 hr. Thyrotropin releasing hormone, adrenocorticotropin, angiotensin I, angiotensin II, pentagastrin, bradykinin, xenopsin and L-valyl-histidyl-L-leucyl-L-threonyl-L-prolyl-L-valyl-L-glutamyl-L-lysine were not competitive. In the presence of 10 nM LiCl, addition of oxytocin to dispersed bovine mammary cells, in which phosphatidylinositol was pre-labelled, caused a time and dose-dependent increase in radioactive inositiol monophosphate incorporation. The possibility that there are distinct vasopressin receptors in bovine mammary tissue was investigated. ({sup 3}H)-vasopressin binding reached equilibrium by 40 min at 20{degree}. The half-time of displacement at 20{degree}C was approximately 1 hr. The ability of the peptides to inhibit ({sup 3}H)-vasopressin binding was: (Thr{sup 4},Gly{sup 7})-oxytocin > Arg{sup 8}-vasopressin > (lys{sup 8})-vasopressin > (Deamino{sup 1},D-arg{sup 8})-vasopressin > oxytocin > d (CH{sub 2}){sub 5}Tyr(Me)AVP.

  10. Human receptors for sweet and umami taste

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Xiaodong; Staszewski, Lena; Xu, Hong; Durick, Kyle; Zoller, Mark; Adler, Elliot

    2002-01-01

    The three members of the T1R class of taste-specific G protein-coupled receptors have been hypothesized to function in combination as heterodimeric sweet taste receptors. Here we show that human T1R2/T1R3 recognizes diverse natural and synthetic sweeteners. In contrast, human T1R1/T1R3 responds to the umami taste stimulus l-glutamate, and this response is enhanced by 5′-ribonucleotides, a hallmark of umami taste. The ligand specificities of rat T1R2/T1R3 and T1R1/T1R3 correspond to those of t...

  11. Metal ions and human sperm mannose receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoff, S; Cooper, G W; Centola, G M; Jacob, A; Hershlag, A; Hurley, I R

    2000-09-01

    Zinc and lead concentrations were measured in seminal plasma from fertile donors, infertile men with varicocoele and men undergoing work-ups for in vitro fertilization. Ejaculated spermatozoa from these subjects were incubated in vitro with various metal ions and/or dibromoethane and dibromochloropropane. Mannose receptor expression was correlated with metal and toxicant levels. Sperm distributions of potassium channels were compared with lead ions and calcium channels with zinc ions. Mannose receptor expression by capacitated spermatozoa increased linearly with seminal plasma zinc levels, and correlated inversely with lead levels. Cobalt had no effect on mannose receptor expression, but nickel had a concentration-dependent biphasic effect. Mannose receptor expression was not affected by dibromoethane and dibromochloropropane if the cholesterol content of the sperm membrane was high, but mannose receptor expression was decreased in low cholesterol spermatozoa by exposures below estimated permissive exposure limits. Potassium channels and lead ions co-localized over the entire head of human spermatozoa, while both calcium channels and zinc ions were confined to the equatorial segment of the head. Mannose receptor expression on the external surface of the human sperm plasma membrane is a biomarker for the effects of transition and heavy metals and organic toxicants on sperm fertility potential.

  12. Pattern-recognition receptors in human eosinophils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kvarnhammar, Anne Månsson; Cardell, Lars Olaf

    2012-05-01

    The pattern-recognition receptor (PRR) family includes Toll-like receptors (TLRs), nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD) -like receptors (NLRs), RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs), C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) and the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). They recognize various microbial signatures or host-derived danger signals and trigger an immune response. Eosinophils are multifunctional leucocytes involved in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory processes, including parasitic helminth infection, allergic diseases, tissue injury and tumour immunity. Human eosinophils express several PRRs, including TLR1-5, TLR7, TLR9, NOD1, NOD2, Dectin-1 and RAGE. Receptor stimulation induces survival, oxidative burst, activation of the adhesion system and release of cytokines (interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-α and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor), chemokines (interleukin-8 and growth-related oncogene-α) and cytotoxic granule proteins (eosinophil cationic protein, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, eosinophil peroxidase and major basic protein). It is also evident that eosinophils play an immunomodulatory role by interacting with surrounding cells. The presence of a broad range of PRRs in eosinophils indicates that they are not only involved in defence against parasitic helminths, but also against bacteria, viruses and fungi. From a clinical perspective, eosinophilic PRRs seem to be involved in both allergic and malignant diseases by causing exacerbations and affecting tumour growth, respectively. © 2012 The Authors. Immunology © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. Can Oxytocin Enhance the Placebo Effect?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-02-06

    Oxytocin Effect on Memory Performance During Phase 1; Oxytocin Effect on Memory Performance During Phase 2; Oxytocin Effect on Memory Performance During Phase 3; Oxytocin Effect on Memory Performance During Phase 4

  14. Change in Parenting, Change in Student-Teacher Relationships, and Oxytocin Receptor Gene (OXTR): Testing a Gene-×-Environment (G×E) Hypothesis in Two Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hygen, Beate Wold; Belsky, Jay; Li, Zhi; Stenseng, Frode; Güzey, Ismail Cuneyt; Wichstrøm, Lars

    2017-01-01

    Prior research suggests that parenting affects children's relationships, including those with teachers, although there is variation across individuals in such effects. Given evidence suggesting that oxytocin may be particularly important for the quality of social relationships, we tested the hypotheses (a) that change in parenting from 4 to 6…

  15. Oxytocin and Social Bonds: The Role of Oxytocin in Perceptions of Romantic Partners' Bonding Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algoe, Sara B; Kurtz, Laura E; Grewen, Karen

    2017-12-01

    In this research, we tested hypotheses about the role of oxytocin in adult human bonding. Inspired by revisiting the research on pair bonding in microtine voles that fueled psychologists' interest in the role of oxytocin in social life, we drew on recent theory from affective and relationship science to identify a well-defined bonding context for human romantic relationships. We then paired these behaviors and subjective psychological responses with a measure of naturally circulating oxytocin. In 129 romantically involved adults whose partner expressed gratitude to them in the lab, greater oxytocin over the prior 24 hr was associated with greater perceptions of the expresser's responsiveness and gratitude, as well as greater experienced love, but not general affective reward. Moreover, in this one-time conversation, higher oxytocin acted like rose-colored glasses, attenuating the effect of a partner's behaviorally coded expressive behavior on perceptions of the expresser's responsiveness. These results justify future research on the role of oxytocin in psychological aspects of growth processes.

  16. Effects of acute stressors on the expression of oxytocin receptor mRNA in hearts of rats with different activity of HPA axis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skopek, Petr; Hynie, Sixtus; Chottova-Dvorakova, Magdalena; Sida, Pavel; Slavikova, Jana; Mistrova, Eliska; Klenerova, Vera

    2012-01-01

    Cardiovascular system is regulated by a diverse array of hormones, neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. Oxytocin and its receptors (OTR) were also shown to regulate cardiovascular functions and this hormone was even called cardiovascular hormone. In recent publication, we demonstrated the expression of mRNA of OTR by real-time quantitative PCR (RT qPCR) in all rat heart compartments. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of acute restraint stress on OTR mRNA expression in two rat strains with different activity of HPA axis. Adult male Sprague-Dawley and Lewis rats, the latter strain reported to have lower HPA activity, were used in RT qPCR studies and Wistar rats in immunofluorescent ones. Both acute restraint (IS) and this stress combined with the immersion of rats in water (ICS) lasted 60 min. Gene expression of OTR mRNA was estimated in all heart compartments after 1 or 3 hours after stress termination (IS1, IS3, ICS1, ICS3). The relative expression was calculated using 2(-ΔΔC)T method. In immunofluorescent studies we used commercial specific OTR antibodies. In RT qPCR studies we found higher expression of OTR mRNA in atria than in ventricles and no statistical differences between Sprague-Dawley and Lewis rats under basal conditions. Relative expression of OTR mRNA after 60 min lasting stress exposure differed in dependence on the stress type and partly on the time interval after the stress termination. When compared to controls, in rat left atria both stressors caused inhibition of OTR mRNA expression in both rat strains. In rat ventricles, which have very low OTR mRNA expression, there was a significant difference in the effect of two stressors. In most groups ICS displayed the increase of OTR mRNA expression if compared to IS groups. Immunofluorescent studies revealed changes induced by acute restraint stress in all heart compartments. The immunofluorescent studies suggested that acute stress induces higher colocalization of OTR with the

  17. Oxytocin, Motivation and the Role of Dopamine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Tiffany M.

    2013-01-01

    The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin has drawn the attention of scientists for more than a century. The understanding of the function of oxytocin has expanded dramatically over the years from a simple peptide adept at inducing uterine contractions and milk ejection to a complex neuromodulator with a capacity to shape human social behavior. Decades of research have outlined oxytocin’s ability to enhance intricate social activities ranging from pair bonding, sexual activity, affiliative preferences, and parental behaviors. The precise neural mechanisms underlying oxytocin’s influence on such behaviors have just begun to be understood. Research suggests that oxytocin interacts closely with the neural pathways responsible for processing motivationally relevant stimuli. In particular, oxytocin appears to impact dopaminergic activity within the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, which is crucial not only for reward and motivated behavior but also for the expression of affiliative behaviors. Though most of the work performed in this area has been done using animal models, several neuroimaging studies suggest similar relationships may be observed in humans. In order to introduce this topic further, this paper will review the recent evidence that oxytocin may exert some of its social-behavioral effects through its impact on motivational networks. PMID:23850525

  18. Oxytocin and Anxiety Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottschalk, Michael G; Domschke, Katharina

    2017-08-16

    In the present chapter, we review the literature focusing on oxytocin (OT)-centered research in anxiety spectrum conditions, comprising separation anxiety disorder, specific phobias, social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and anxiety-related endophenotypes (e.g., trust behavior, behavioral inhibition, neuroticism, and state/trait anxiety). OT receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphisms have been implicated in gene-environment interactions with attachment style and childhood maltreatment and to influence clinical outcomes, including SAD intensity and limbic responsiveness. Epigenetic OXTR DNA methylation patterns have emerged as a link between categorical, dimensional, neuroendocrinological, and neuroimaging SAD correlates, highlighting them as potential peripheral surrogates of the central oxytocinergic tone. A pathophysiological framework of OT integrating the dynamic nature of epigenetic biomarkers and the summarized genetic and peripheral evidence is proposed. Finally, we emphasize opportunities and challenges of OT as a key network node of social interaction and fear learning in social contexts. In conjunction with multi-level investigations incorporating a dimensional understanding of social affiliation and avoidance in anxiety spectrum disorders, these concepts will help to promote research for diagnostic, state, and treatment response biomarkers of the OT system, advancing towards indicated preventive interventions and personalized treatment approaches.

  19. Cellular receptors for human enterovirus species A

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    Yorihiro eNishimura

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Human enterovirus species A (HEV-A is one of the four species of HEV in the genus Enterovirus in the family Picornaviridae. Among HEV-A, coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16 and enterovirus 71 (EV71 are the major causative agents of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD. Some other types of HEV-A are commonly associated with herpangina. Although HFMD and herpangina due to HEV-A are common febrile diseases among infants and children, EV71 can cause various neurological diseases, such as aseptic meningitis and fatal encephalitis.Recently, two human transmembrane proteins, P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1 and scavenger receptor class B, member 2 (SCARB2, were identified as functional receptors for EV71 and CVA16. In in vitro infection experiments using the prototype HEV-A strains, PSGL-1 and SCARB2 could be responsible for the specific receptors for EV71 and CVA16. However, the involvement of both receptors in the in vitro and in vivo infections of clinical isolates of HEV-A has not been clarified yet. To elucidate a diverse array of the clinical outcome of HEV-A-associated diseases, the identification and characterization of HEV-A receptors may provide useful information in understanding the HEV-A pathogenesis at a molecular level.

  20. Oxytocin release in magnocellular nuclei: neurochemical mediators and functional significance during gestation

    OpenAIRE

    Bealer, Steven L.; Armstrong, William E.; Crowley, William R

    2010-01-01

    When released from dendrites within the supraoptic (SON) and paraventricular (PVN) nuclei (intranuclear release) during suckling, oxytocin exerts autocrine and paracrine effects on oxytocin neurons that are necessary for the unique timing and episodic pattern of oxytocin release into the systemic circulation that is characteristic of lactation. Recent reports have shown that stimulation of central noradrenergic and histaminergic receptors are both necessary for intranuclear release of oxytoci...

  1. Beta adrenergic receptors in human cavernous tissue

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dhabuwala, C.B.; Ramakrishna, C.V.; Anderson, G.F.

    1985-04-01

    Beta adrenergic receptor binding was performed with /sup 125/I iodocyanopindolol on human cavernous tissue membrane fractions from normal tissue and transsexual procedures obtained postoperatively, as well as from postmortem sources. Isotherm binding studies on normal fresh tissues indicated that the receptor density was 9.1 fmoles/mg. with a KD of 23 pM. Tissue stored at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours, then at 4C in saline solution for 19 to 20 hours before freezing showed no significant changes in receptor density or affinity, and provided evidence for the stability of postmortem tissue obtained within the same time period. Beta receptor density of 2 cavernous preparations from transsexual procedures was not significantly different from normal control tissues, and showed that high concentrations of estrogen received by these patients had no effect on beta adrenergic receptor density. Displacement of /sup 125/iodocyanopindolol by 5 beta adrenergic agents demonstrated that 1-propranolol had the greatest affinity followed by ICI 118,551, zinterol, metoprolol and practolol. When the results of these displacement studies were subjected to Scatfit, non- linear regression line analysis, a single binding site was described. Based on the relative potency of the selective beta adrenergic agents it appears that these receptors were of the beta 2 subtype.

  2. Release of LHRH-activity from human fetal membranes upon exposure to PGE/sub 2/, oxytocin and isoproterenol

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poisner, A.M.; Poisner, R.; Becca, C.R.; Conn, P.M.

    1986-03-01

    The authors have previously reported that superfused chorion laeve (fetal membranes) release LHRH-like immunoreactivity upon exposure to angiotensin II. They have now studied the effects of other agonists on the release of LHRH-activity and something of its chemical nature. Fetal membranes were obtained from placentas delivered by cesarean section, the amnion stripped from the chorion, and the chorion superfused in an Amicon thin-channel device with the maternal surface facing up. The whole device was submerged in a 37 C water bath and perfused with a modified Locke's solution at 0.4 - 1.0 ml/min. LHRH-activity was measured by radioimmunoassay using three different antisera against LHRH. The release of LHRH-activity was stimulated by 6-10 min exposure to PGE/sub 2/, oxytocin, and isoproterenol. Extracts of chorion were studied using gel filtration on Sephacryl S-200 and ultrafiltration with Amicon PM-10 filters. The bulk of the LHRH-activity appeared as a higher molecular weight form (about 70,000 daltons). Since oxytocin has been reported to release PGE/sub 2/ from chorion, it may release LHRH-activity by virtue of liberating endogenous PGE/sub 2/. The chemical nature of the LHRH-activity is presently under investigation.

  3. Effects of intranasal oxytocin on steroid hormones in men and women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, Michelle M; Gaffey, Allison E; Martinez, Brandy S

    2015-01-01

    Recent interest in the social and cognitive effects of intranasal oxytocin prompts a need for understanding its physiological effects in humans. Few studies have examined the effects of intranasal oxytocin on steroid hormones. Filling this gap is especially important given the evidence that steroid hormones participate in some of the same behavioral functions as oxytocin, e.g. in stress, processing of emotional stimuli, aggression, trust, empathy, and parental care. In randomized, double-blind experiments, we administered oxytocin (24 IU) or saline placebo to 97 healthy participants. Saliva samples were collected before and at several time points after the oxytocin/placebo administration to assess the levels of cortisol, progesterone, and testosterone. Oxytocin had no effects on testosterone, progesterone, or cortisol in women or men. Acute intranasal oxytocin does not affect the levels of cortisol, testosterone or progesterone in humans, at least in the absence of a stressful context. These data suggest that acute oxytocin does not have a direct impact on the human hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal or hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axes under nonstressful circumstances. This knowledge helps rule out potential mechanisms for some of the effects of oxytocin in humans and adds to the generally limited body of knowledge on the basic physiological or psychological effects of intranasal oxytocin in human beings. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  4. Oxytocin and Socioemotional Aging─Current Knowledge and Future Trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie C. Ebner

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The oxytocin (OT system is involved in various aspects of social cognition and prosocial behavior. Specifically, OT has been examined in the context of social memory, emotion recognition, cooperation, trust, empathy, and bonding, and─though evidence is somewhat mixed─intranasal OT appears to benefit aspects of socioemotional functioning. However, most of the extant data on aging and OT is from animal research and human OT research has focused largely on young adults. As such, though we know that various socioemotional capacities change with age, we know little about whether age-related changes in the OT system may underlie age-related differences in socioemotional functioning. In this review, we take a genetic-neuro-behavioral approach and evaluate current evidence on age-related changes in the OT system as well as the putative effects of these alterations on age-related socioemotional functioning. Looking forward, we identify informational gaps and propose an Age-Related Genetic, Neurobiological, Sociobehavioral Model of Oxytocin (AGeNeS-OT model which may structure and inform investigations into aging-related genetic, neural, and sociocognitive processes related to OT. As an exemplar of the use of the model, we report exploratory data suggesting differences in socioemotional processing associated with genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR in samples of young and older adults. Information gained from this arena has translational potential in depression, social stress, and anxiety─all of which have high relevance in aging─and may contribute to reducing social isolation and improving well-being of individuals across the lifespan.

  5. Oxytocin in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus reduces feeding and acutely increases energy expenditure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Emily E.; Billington, Charles J.; Kotz, Catherine M.

    2014-01-01

    Central oxytocin reduces food intake and increases energy expenditure. The ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN) is associated with energy balance and contains a high density of oxytocin receptors. We hypothesized that oxytocin in the VMN is a negative regulator of energy balance acting to reduce feeding and increase energy expenditure. To test this idea, oxytocin or vehicle was injected directly into the VMN of Sprague-Dawley rats during fasted and nonfasted conditions. Energy expenditure (via indirect calorimetry) and spontaneous physical activity (SPA) were recorded simultaneously. Animals were also exposed to a conditioned taste aversion test, to determine whether oxytocin's effects on food intake were associated with malaise. When food was available during testing, oxytocin-induced elevations in energy expenditure lasted for 1 h, after which overall energy expenditure was reduced. In the absence of food during the testing period, oxytocin similarly increased energy expenditure during the first hour, but differences in 12-h energy expenditure were eliminated, implying that the differences may have been due to the thermic effects of feeding (digestion, absorption, and metabolic processing). Oxytocin acutely elevated SPA and reduced feeding at doses that did not cause a conditioned taste aversion during both the fed and fasted states. Together, these data suggest that oxytocin in the VMN promotes satiety and acutely elevates energy expenditure and SPA and implicates the VMN as a relevant site for the antiobesity effects of oxytocin. PMID:24990860

  6. Oxytocin in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus reduces feeding and acutely increases energy expenditure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Emily E; Billington, Charles J; Kotz, Catherine M; Wang, ChuanFeng

    2014-09-15

    Central oxytocin reduces food intake and increases energy expenditure. The ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN) is associated with energy balance and contains a high density of oxytocin receptors. We hypothesized that oxytocin in the VMN is a negative regulator of energy balance acting to reduce feeding and increase energy expenditure. To test this idea, oxytocin or vehicle was injected directly into the VMN of Sprague-Dawley rats during fasted and nonfasted conditions. Energy expenditure (via indirect calorimetry) and spontaneous physical activity (SPA) were recorded simultaneously. Animals were also exposed to a conditioned taste aversion test, to determine whether oxytocin's effects on food intake were associated with malaise. When food was available during testing, oxytocin-induced elevations in energy expenditure lasted for 1 h, after which overall energy expenditure was reduced. In the absence of food during the testing period, oxytocin similarly increased energy expenditure during the first hour, but differences in 12-h energy expenditure were eliminated, implying that the differences may have been due to the thermic effects of feeding (digestion, absorption, and metabolic processing). Oxytocin acutely elevated SPA and reduced feeding at doses that did not cause a conditioned taste aversion during both the fed and fasted states. Together, these data suggest that oxytocin in the VMN promotes satiety and acutely elevates energy expenditure and SPA and implicates the VMN as a relevant site for the antiobesity effects of oxytocin.

  7. An obligate role of oxytocin neurons in diet induced energy expenditure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaofei Wu

    Full Text Available Oxytocin neurons represent one of the major subsets of neurons in the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH, a critical brain region for energy homeostasis. Despite substantial evidence supporting a role of oxytocin in body weight regulation, it remains controversial whether oxytocin neurons directly regulate body weight homeostasis, feeding or energy expenditure. Pharmacologic doses of oxytocin suppress feeding through a proposed melanocortin responsive projection from the PVH to the hindbrain. In contrast, deficiency in oxytocin or its receptor leads to reduced energy expenditure without feeding abnormalities. To test the physiological function of oxytocin neurons, we specifically ablated oxytocin neurons in adult mice. Our results show that oxytocin neuron ablation in adult animals has no effect on body weight, food intake or energy expenditure on a regular diet. Interestingly, male mice lacking oxytocin neurons are more sensitive to high fat diet-induced obesity due solely to reduced energy expenditure. In addition, despite a normal food intake, these mice exhibit a blunted food intake response to leptin administration. Thus, our study suggests that oxytocin neurons are required to resist the obesity associated with a high fat diet; but their role in feeding is permissive and can be compensated for by redundant pathways.

  8. Computer Modeling of Human Delta Opioid Receptor

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    Tatyana Dzimbova

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The development of selective agonists of δ-opioid receptor as well as the model of interaction of ligands with this receptor is the subjects of increased interest. In the absence of crystal structures of opioid receptors, 3D homology models with different templates have been reported in the literature. The problem is that these models are not available for widespread use. The aims of our study are: (1 to choose within recently published crystallographic structures templates for homology modeling of the human δ-opioid receptor (DOR; (2 to evaluate the models with different computational tools; and (3 to precise the most reliable model basing on correlation between docking data and in vitro bioassay results. The enkephalin analogues, as ligands used in this study, were previously synthesized by our group and their biological activity was evaluated. Several models of DOR were generated using different templates. All these models were evaluated by PROCHECK and MolProbity and relationship between docking data and in vitro results was determined. The best correlations received for the tested models of DOR were found between efficacy (erel of the compounds, calculated from in vitro experiments and Fitness scoring function from docking studies. New model of DOR was generated and evaluated by different approaches. This model has good GA341 value (0.99 from MODELLER, good values from PROCHECK (92.6% of most favored regions and MolProbity (99.5% of favored regions. Scoring function correlates (Pearson r = -0.7368, p-value = 0.0097 with erel of a series of enkephalin analogues, calculated from in vitro experiments. So, this investigation allows suggesting a reliable model of DOR. Newly generated model of DOR receptor could be used further for in silico experiments and it will give possibility for faster and more correct design of selective and effective ligands for δ-opioid receptor.

  9. Hypooxytocinaemia in obese Zucker rats relates to oxytocin degradation in liver and adipose tissue

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gajdošechová, L.; Kršková, K.; Segarra, A. B.; Špolcová, Andrea; Suski, M.; Olszanecki, R.; Zórad, S.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 220, č. 3 (2014), s. 333-343 ISSN 0022-0795 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : oxytocin * obesity * insulin resistance * oxytocinase * oxytocin receptor Subject RIV: FB - Endocrinology, Diabetology, Metabolism, Nutrition Impact factor: 3.718, year: 2014

  10. IL-21 Receptor Expression in Human Tendinopathy

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    Abigail L. Campbell

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The pathogenetic mechanisms underlying tendinopathy remain unclear, with much debate as to whether inflammation or degradation has the prominent role. Increasing evidence points toward an early inflammatory infiltrate and associated inflammatory cytokine production in human and animal models of tendon disease. The IL-21/IL-21R axis is a proinflammatory cytokine complex that has been associated with chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. This project aimed to investigate the role and expression of the cytokine/receptor pair IL-21/IL-21R in human tendinopathy. We found significantly elevated expression of IL-21 receptor message and protein in human tendon samples but found no convincing evidence of the presence of IL-21 at message or protein level. The level of expression of IL-21R message/protein in human tenocytes was significantly upregulated by proinflammatory cytokines (TNFα/IL-1β in vitro. These findings demonstrate that IL-21R is present in early human tendinopathy mainly expressed by tenocytes and macrophages. Despite a lack of IL-21 expression, these data again suggest that early tendinopathy has an inflammatory/cytokine phenotype, which may provide novel translational targets in the treatment of tendinopathy.

  11. Oxytocin and Animal Models for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Shlomo; Harony-Nicolas, Hala

    2017-09-02

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of complex neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by deficits in social communication and by repetitive and stereotypic patterns of behaviors, with no pharmacological treatments available to treat these core symptoms. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide that powerfully regulates mammalian social behavior and has been shown to exert pro-social effects when administered intranasally to healthy human subjects. In the last decade, there has been a significant interest in using oxytocin to treat social behavior deficits in ASD. However, little attention has been paid to whether the oxytocin system is perturbed in subgroups of individuals with ASD and whether these individuals are likely to benefit more from an oxytocin treatment. This oversight may in part be due to the enormous heterogeneity of ASD and the lack of methods to carefully probe the OXT system in human subjects. Animal models for ASD are valuable tools to clarify the implication of the oxytocin system in ASD and can help determine whether perturbation in this system should be considered in future clinical studies as stratifying biomarkers to inform targeted treatments in subgroups of individuals with ASD. In this chapter, we review the literature on genetic- and environmental-based animal models for ASD, in which perturbations in the oxytocin system and/or the effect of oxytocin administration on the ASD-associated phenotype have been investigated.

  12. Metabolic effects of subchronic peripheral oxytocin administration in lean and obese zucker rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balazova, L; Krskova, K; Suski, M; Sisovsky, V; Hlavacova, N; Olszanecki, R; Jezova, D; Zorad, S

    2016-08-01

    Increasing evidence indicates a role of oxytocin in controlling energy metabolism. The aim of his study was to investigate oxytocin effects on obese phenotype in leptin-resistant Zucker fatty rats, focusing on glucose and lipid metabolism. Zucker fatty rats and their lean controls were treated with oxytocin (3.6 μg/100g body weight/day) by osmotic minipumps implanted subcutaneously for 2 weeks. Two-hours intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test was performed in fasting rats. Oxytocin decreased food intake in both phenotypes while body weight gain reduced only in obese animals. In obese rats oxytocin impaired hepatic insulin extraction and enhanced liver triglyceride accumulation. Moreover, in the skeletal muscle of lean rats oxytocin treatment downregulated insulin signal transduction by decreasing of insulin receptor substrate 1 protein level and stimulating of its serine phosphorylation. Concurrently, the gene expression of insulin receptor substrate 1 in the skeletal muscle and adipose tissue was downregulated by oxytocin. In obese rats, oxytocin reduced adipocyte size and normalised mRNA levels of both fatty acid binding protein 4 and fatty acid synthase but attenuated gene expression of glucose transporter 4. The present study in Zucker fatty rats demonstrated ambivalent effects of oxytocin treatment with predominantly negative impact on skeletal muscle insulin pathway in lean animals.

  13. OXYTOCIN INDUCED NEONATAL HYPERBILIRUBINEMIA

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    Smita S.

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Hyperbilirubinemia is one of the most common causes of health problems, observed in 60% of term and 80% of preterm infants in the first week of life . Hyperbilirubinemia leads to neurotoxicity in severe condition. Some studies suggests that liberal use of oxytocin for inducing labour is one of the factor which lead to neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect of oxytocin and neonatal bilirubin levels with spontaneous vaginal delivery . MATERIALS AND METHOD S : 100 full term parturients were selected for this study. The subjects were divided into two groups. 50 healthy babies of women who had oxytocin induced labour and 50 healthy babies of women with normal vaginal delivery following spontaneous onset of labour formed the control group. Neon atal serum bilirubin was measured on day 1, 3 and 5 after delivery. Bilirubin was measured by spectrophotometry. Data was analysed in ms excel sheet using spss 19.0v. Statistical analysis was done by using unpaired‘t’ test. RESULTS: There was significant i ncrease in bilirubin level in oxytocin induced group compared to control group on day 1 and 3. There was insignificant increase in bilirubin level in oxytocin induced group on day 5. However the level of serum bilirubin is within normal limits as bilirubin level normally rises on till 4 th day and decreases thereafter. CONCLUSION: Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia may be due to oxytocin administration by continues IV infusion which results in erythrocyte swell and rupture. Increase in bilirubin level in oxytocin i nduced group is within physiological limits

  14. Hypothalamic oxytocin mediates social buffering of the stress response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Adam S; Wang, Zuoxin

    2014-08-15

    While stressful life events can enhance the risk of mental disorders, positive social interactions can propagate good mental health and normal behavioral routines. Still, the neural systems that promote these benefits are undetermined. Oxytocin is a hormone involved in social behavior and stress; thus, we focus on the impact that social buffering has on the stress response and the governing effects of oxytocin. Female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) were exposed to 1 hour immobilization stress and then recovered alone or with their male partner to characterize the effect of social contact on the behavioral, physiological, and neuroendocrine stress response. In addition, we treated immobilized female voles recovering alone with oxytocin or vehicle and female voles recovering with their male partner with a selective oxytocin receptor antagonist or vehicle. Group sizes varied from 6 to 8 voles (N = 98 total). We found that 1 hour immobilization increased anxiety-like behaviors and circulating levels of corticosterone, a stress hormone, in female prairie voles recovering alone but not the female prairie voles recovering with their male partner. This social buffering by the male partner on biobehavioral responses to stress was accompanied by increased oxytocin release in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Intra-paraventricular nucleus oxytocin injections reduced behavioral and corticosterone responses to immobilization, whereas injections of an oxytocin receptor antagonist blocked the effects of the social buffering. Together, our data demonstrate that paraventricular nucleus oxytocin mediates the social buffering effects on the stress response and thus may be a target for treatment of stress-related disorders. Published by Society of Biological Psychiatry on behalf of Society of Biological Psychiatry.

  15. Individual differences underlying susceptibility to addiction: Role for the endogenous oxytocin system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buisman-Pijlman, Femke T A; Sumracki, Nicole M; Gordon, Jake J; Hull, Philip R; Carter, C Sue; Tops, Mattie

    2014-04-01

    Recent research shows that the effects of oxytocin are more diverse than initially thought and that in some cases oxytocin can directly influence the response to drugs and alcohol. Large individual differences in basal oxytocin levels and reactivity of the oxytocin system exist. This paper will review the literature to explore how individual differences in the oxytocin system arise and examine the hypothesis that this may mediate some of the individual differences in susceptibility to addiction and relapse. Differences in the oxytocin system can be based on individual factors, e.g. genetic variation especially in the oxytocin receptor, age or gender, or be the result of early environmental influences such as social experiences, stress or trauma. The paper addresses the factors that cause individual differences in the oxytocin system and the environmental factors that have been identified to induce long-term changes in the developing oxytocin system during different life phases. Individual differences in the oxytocin system can influence effects of drugs and alcohol directly or indirectly. The oxytocin system has bidirectional interactions with the stress-axis, autonomic nervous system, neurotransmitter systems (e.g. dopamine, serotonin and GABA/glutamate) and the immune system. These systems are all important, even vital, in different phases of addiction. It is suggested that early life adversity can change the development of the oxytocin system and the way it modulates other systems. This in turn could minimise the negative feedback loops that would normally exist. Individuals may show only minor differences in behaviour and function unless subsequent stressors or drug use challenges the system. It is postulated that at that time individual differences in oxytocin levels, reactivity of the system or interactions with other systems can influence general resilience, drug effects and the susceptibility to develop problematic drug and alcohol use. © 2013. Published

  16. Oxytocin prevents cartilage matrix destruction via regulating matrix metalloproteinases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yixin; Wu, Tongyu; Xu, Binbin; Xu, Xiaoyan; Chen, Honggan; Li, Xiyao

    2017-05-06

    Degradation of the extracellular matrix type II Collagen (Col II) induced by proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is an important hallmark of Osteoarthritis (OA). Oxytocin (OT) is a well-known neurohypophysical hormone that is synthesized in the paraventricular (PVN) and supraoptic nuclei (SON) of the hypothalamus. In this study, we have found that oxytocin receptor (OTR) was expressed in human primary chondrocytes, and the expression of which was reduced in chondrocytes from OA patients and in response to TNF-α treatment in a dose dependent manner. Notably, it was shown that TNF-α -induced degradation of Col II was restored by treatment with OT in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, TNF-α treatment (10 ng/mL) highly elevated the expression of MMP-1 and MMP-13 in SW1353 chondrocytes, which were reversed by OT in a dose dependent manner at both gene and protein expression levels. In addition, it was demonstrated that the JAK2/STAT1 pathway was involved in the restoration effects of OT in the degradation of Col II. Lastly, knockdown of OTR abolished the inhibitory effects of OT on the degradation of col II and the induction of MMP-1 and MMP-13 expression, suggesting the involvement of OTR. Our study implied the therapeutic potential of OT for cartilage degradation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Oxytocin promotes altruistic punishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydogan, Gökhan; Furtner, Nadja C; Kern, Bianca; Jobst, Andrea; Müller, Norbert; Kocher, Martin G

    2017-11-01

    The role of neuromodulators in the enforcement of cooperation is still not well understood. Here, we provide evidence that intranasal applied oxytocin, an important hormone for modulating social behavior, enhances the inclination to sanction free-riders in a social dilemma situation. Contrary to the notion of oxytocin being a pro-social hormone, we found that participants treated with oxytocin exhibited an amplification of self-reported negative social emotions such as anger towards free-riders, ultimately resulting in higher magnitude and frequency of punishment of free-riders compared to placebo. Furthermore, we found initial evidence that oxytocin contributes to the positive effects of a punishment institution by rendering cooperation preferable in the oxytocin condition for even the most selfish players when punishment was available. Together, these findings imply that the neural circuits underlying altruistic punishment are partly targeted by the oxytonergic system and highlight the importance of neuromodulators in group cohesion and norm enforcement within social groups. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. The role of oxytocin in cardiovascular regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Gutkowska

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Studies of body volume expansion have indicated that lesions of the anteroventral third ventricle and median eminence block the release of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP into the circulation. Detailed analysis of the lesions showed that activation of oxytocin (OT-ergic neurons is responsible for ANP release, and it has become clear that activation of neuronal circuitry elicits OT secretion into the circulation, activating atrial OT receptors and ANP release from the heart. Subsequently, we have uncovered the entire functional OT system in the rat and the human heart. An abundance of OT has been observed in the early development of the fetal heart, and the capacity of OT to generate cardiomyocytes (CMs has been demonstrated in various types of stem cells. OT treatment of mesenchymal stem cells stimulates paracrine factors beneficial for cardioprotection. Cardiovascular actions of OT include: i lowering blood pressure, ii negative inotropic and chronotropic effects, iii parasympathetic neuromodulation, iv vasodilatation, v anti-inflammatory activity, vi antioxidant activity, and vii metabolic effects. OT actions are mediated by nitric oxide and ANP. The beneficial actions of OT may include the increase in glucose uptake by CMs and stem cells, reduction in CM hypertrophy, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial protection of several cell types. In experimentally induced myocardial infarction in rats, continuous in vivo OT delivery improves cardiac healing and cardiac work, reduces inflammation, and stimulates angiogenesis. Because OT plays anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective roles and improves vascular and metabolic functions, it demonstrates potential for therapeutic use in various pathologic conditions.

  19. The role of oxytocin in cardiovascular regulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gutkowska, J.; Jankowski, M. [University of Montreal, CHUM Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Laboratory of Cardiovascular Biochemistry, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Laboratory of Cardiovascular Biochemistry, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, CHUM Research Centre, Montreal, Quebec (Canada); Antunes-Rodrigues, J. [Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Departamento de Fisiologia, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil, Departamento de Fisiologia, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP (Brazil)

    2014-03-03

    Studies of body volume expansion have indicated that lesions of the anteroventral third ventricle and median eminence block the release of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) into the circulation. Detailed analysis of the lesions showed that activation of oxytocin (OT)-ergic neurons is responsible for ANP release, and it has become clear that activation of neuronal circuitry elicits OT secretion into the circulation, activating atrial OT receptors and ANP release from the heart. Subsequently, we have uncovered the entire functional OT system in the rat and the human heart. An abundance of OT has been observed in the early development of the fetal heart, and the capacity of OT to generate cardiomyocytes (CMs) has been demonstrated in various types of stem cells. OT treatment of mesenchymal stem cells stimulates paracrine factors beneficial for cardioprotection. Cardiovascular actions of OT include: i) lowering blood pressure, ii) negative inotropic and chronotropic effects, iii) parasympathetic neuromodulation, iv) vasodilatation, v) anti-inflammatory activity, vi) antioxidant activity, and vii) metabolic effects. OT actions are mediated by nitric oxide and ANP. The beneficial actions of OT may include the increase in glucose uptake by CMs and stem cells, reduction in CM hypertrophy, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial protection of several cell types. In experimentally induced myocardial infarction in rats, continuous in vivo OT delivery improves cardiac healing and cardiac work, reduces inflammation, and stimulates angiogenesis. Because OT plays anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective roles and improves vascular and metabolic functions, it demonstrates potential for therapeutic use in various pathologic conditions.

  20. Prolonged Subcutaneous Administration of Oxytocin Accelerates Angiotensin II-Induced Hypertension and Renal Damage in Male Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phie, James; Haleagrahara, Nagaraja; Newton, Patricia; Constantinoiu, Constantin; Sarnyai, Zoltan; Chilton, Lisa; Kinobe, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin and its receptor are synthesised in the heart and blood vessels but effects of chronic activation of this peripheral oxytocinergic system on cardiovascular function are not known. In acute studies, systemic administration of low dose oxytocin exerted a protective, preconditioning effect in experimental models of myocardial ischemia and infarction. In this study, we investigated the effects of chronic administration of low dose oxytocin following angiotensin II-induced hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy and renal damage. Angiotensin II (40 μg/Kg/h) only, oxytocin only (20 or 100 ng/Kg/h), or angiotensin II combined with oxytocin (20 or 100 ng/Kg/h) were infused subcutaneously in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats for 28 days. At day 7, oxytocin or angiotensin-II only did not change hemodynamic parameters, but animals that received a combination of oxytocin and angiotensin-II had significantly elevated systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressure compared to controls (P oxytocin and angiotensin II, compared to controls (P oxytocin administration did not affect plasma concentrations of renin and atrial natriuretic peptide, but was associated with the activation of calcium-dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin, a canonical signalling mechanism in pressure overload-induced cardiovascular disease. These data demonstrate that oxytocin accelerated angiotensin-II induced hypertension and end-organ renal damage, suggesting caution should be exercised in the chronic use of oxytocin in individuals with hypertension. PMID:26393919

  1. Positive social behaviours are induced and retained after oxytocin manipulations mimicking endogenous concentrations in a wild mammal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Kelly J; Twiss, Sean D; Hazon, Neil; Moss, Simon; Pomeroy, Patrick P

    2017-05-31

    The neuropeptide hormone oxytocin modulates numerous social and parental behaviours across a wide range of species, including humans. We conducted manipulation experiments on wild grey seals ( Halichoerus grypus ) to determine whether oxytocin increases proximity-seeking behaviour, which has previously been correlated with endogenous oxytocin concentrations in wild seal populations. Pairs of seals that had never met previously were given intravenous injections of 0.41 µg kg -1 oxytocin or saline and were observed for 1 h post-manipulation. The dose was designed to mimic endogenous oxytocin concentrations during the observation period, and is one of the lowest doses used to manipulate behaviour to date. Seals given oxytocin spent significantly more time in close proximity to each other, confirming that oxytocin causes conspecifics to seek others out and remain close to one another. Aggressive and investigative behaviours also significantly fell after oxytocin manipulations. Despite using a minimal oxytocin dose, pro-social behavioural changes unexpectedly persisted for 2 days despite rapid dose clearance from circulation post-injection. This study verifies that oxytocin promotes individuals staying together, demonstrating how the hormone can form positive feedback loops of oxytocin release following conspecific stimuli, increased motivation to remain in close proximity and additional oxytocin release from stimuli received while in close proximity. © 2017 The Authors.

  2. Gene Transfer and Molecular Cloning of the Human NGF Receptor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Moses V.; Bothwell, Mark A.; Ross, Alonzo H.; Koprowski, Hilary; Lanahan, Anthony A.; Buck, C. Randall; Sehgal, Amita

    1986-04-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) and its receptor are important in the development of cells derived from the neural crest. Mouse L cell transformants have been generated that stably express the human NGF receptor gene transfer with total human DNA. Affinity cross-linking, metabolic labeling and immunoprecipitation, and equilibrium binding with 125I-labeled NGF revealed that this NGF receptor had the same size and binding characteristics as the receptor from human melanoma cells and rat PC12 cells. The sequences encoding the NGF receptor were molecularly cloned using the human Alu repetitive sequence as a probe. A cosmid clone that contained the human NGF receptor gene allowed efficient transfection and expression of the receptor.

  3. Oxytocin and eating disorders: a narrative review on emerging findings and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giel, Katrin; Zipfel, Stephan; Hallschmid, Manfred

    2017-11-28

    The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin regulates reproductive behavior and mother-infant interaction, and conclusive studies in humans indicate that oxytocin is also a potent modulator of psychosocial function. Pilot experiments have yielded first evidence that this neuropeptide moreover influences eating behavior. Brain administration of oxytocin in animals with normal weight, but also with diet-induced or genetically induced obesity, attenuates food intake and reduces body weight. In normal-weight and obese individuals, acute intranasal oxytocin delivery curbs calorie intake from main dishes and snacks. Such effects might converge with the poignant social and cognitive impact of oxytocin to also improve dysfunctional eating behavior in the therapeutic context. This assumption has received support in first studies showing that oxytocin might play a role in the disease process of anorexia nervosa. In contrast, respective experiments in patients with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder are still scarce. We briefly summarize currently available studies on the involvement of the oxytocin system in the pathophysiology of eating disorders, as well as on the effects of oxytocin administration in patients with these disorders. We propose a framework of oxytocin's role and its therapeutic potential in eating disorders that aims at integrating social and metabolic aspects of its pharmacological profile, and ponder perspectives and limitations of oxytocin use in the clinical setting. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  4. [Oxytocin in the treatment of the social deficits associated to autism spectrum disorders].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cachafeiro-Espino, Carla; Vale-Martínez, Anna M

    2015-11-01

    The recent involvement of oxytocin in social behavior of animals and humans has motivated the study of its effects on the social behavior of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). To review the current state of oxytocin studies concerning its therapeutic potential in treating social deficits of the ASD population, and to establish likely future directions to be taken by the studies in this field. Some studies have linked oxytocin to the pathophysiology of autistic disorders. Most studies that have administered oxytocin (mainly with intranasal administration of 24 IU) to ASD subjects have shown significant improvements in their social performance with acceptable safety parameters. However, there is controversial data as the outcome measures are widely dispersed, the samples are reduced and heterogeneous, and the treatment durations are different. The limitations related to the lack of understanding of the oxytocin's action mechanisms and the symptomatic heterogeneity of ASD are hampering progress towards the establishment of oxytocin as a treatment of ASD patients. Recent studies suggest the investigation of the combination of the oxytocin treatment with social skills training, and the enhancement of endogenous secretion of oxytocin. The effects of oxytocin are promising regarding the treatment of social deficits in ASD individuals. Future studies should aim to facilitate understanding of the oxytocin's ways of action and to establish the optimal treatment regime.

  5. Visualization of oxytocin release that mediates paired pulse facilitation in hypothalamic pathways to brainstem autonomic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramón A Piñol

    Full Text Available Recent work has shown that oxytocin is involved in more than lactation and uterine contraction. The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN contains neuroendocrine neurons that control the release of hormones, including vasopressin and oxytocin. Other populations of PVN neurons do not release hormones, but rather project to and release neurotransmitters onto other neurons in the CNS involved in fluid retention, thermoregulation, sexual behavior and responses to stress. Activation of oxytocin receptors can be cardioprotective and reduces the adverse cardiovascular consequences of anxiety and stress, yet how oxytocin can affect heart rate and cardiac function is unknown. While anatomical work has shown the presence of peptides, including oxytocin, in the projections from the PVN to parasympathetic nuclei, electrophysiological studies to date have only demonstrated release of glutamate and activation of fast ligand gated receptors in these pathways. In this study, using rats, we directly show, using sniffer CHO cells that express oxytocin receptors and the Ca2+ indicator R-GECO, that optogenetic activation of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 expressing PVN fibers in the brainstem activates oxytocin receptors in the dorsomotor nucleus of the vagus (DMNV. We also demonstrate that while a single photoactivation of PVN terminals only activates glutamatergic receptors in brainstem cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs, neurons that dominate the neural control of heart rate, both the paired pulse facilitation, and sustained enhancement of glutamate release in this pathway is mediated by activation of oxytocin receptors. Our results provide direct evidence that a pathway from the PVN likely releases oxytocin and enhances short-term plasticity of this critical autonomic connection.

  6. Oxytocin conditions trait-based rule adherence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Jörg; De Dreu, Carsten K W

    2017-03-01

    Rules, whether in the form of norms, taboos or laws, regulate and coordinate human life. Some rules, however, are arbitrary and adhering to them can be personally costly. Rigidly sticking to such rules can be considered maladaptive. Here, we test whether, at the neurobiological level, (mal)adaptive rule adherence is reduced by oxytocin-a hypothalamic neuropeptide that biases the biobehavioural approach-avoidance system. Participants (N = 139) self-administered oxytocin or placebo intranasally, and reported their need for structure and approach-avoidance sensitivity. Next, participants made binary decisions and were given an arbitrary rule that demanded to forgo financial benefits. Under oxytocin, participants violated the rule more often, especially when they had high need for structure and high approach sensitivity. Possibly, oxytocin dampens the need for a highly structured environment and enables individuals to flexibly trade-off internal desires against external restrictions. Implications for the treatment of clinical disorders marked by maladaptive rule adherence are discussed. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. PET imaging of human cardiac opioid receptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Villemagne, Patricia S.R.; Dannals, Robert F. [Department of Radiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 605 N Caroline St., Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Department of Environmental Health Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Ravert, Hayden T. [Department of Radiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 605 N Caroline St., Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Frost, James J. [Department of Radiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 605 N Caroline St., Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Department of Environmental Health Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Department of Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (United States)

    2002-10-01

    The presence of opioid peptides and receptors and their role in the regulation of cardiovascular function has been previously demonstrated in the mammalian heart. The aim of this study was to image {mu} and {delta} opioid receptors in the human heart using positron emission tomography (PET). Five subjects (three females, two males, 65{+-}8 years old) underwent PET scanning of the chest with [{sup 11}C]carfentanil ([{sup 11}C]CFN) and [{sup 11}C]-N-methyl-naltrindole ([{sup 11}C]MeNTI) and the images were analyzed for evidence of opioid receptor binding in the heart. Either [{sup 11}C]CFN or [{sup 11}C]MeNTI (20 mCi) was injected i.v. with subsequent dynamic acquisitions over 90 min. For the blocking studies, either 0.2 mg/kg or 1 mg/kg of naloxone was injected i.v. 5 min prior to the injection of [{sup 11}C]CFN and [{sup 11}C]MeNTI, respectively. Regions of interest were placed over the left ventricle, left ventricular chamber, lung and skeletal muscle. Graphical analysis demonstrated average baseline myocardial binding potentials (BP) of 4.37{+-}0.91 with [{sup 11}C]CFN and 3.86{+-}0.60 with [{sup 11}C]MeNTI. Administration of 0.2 mg/kg naloxone prior to [{sup 11}C]CFN produced a 25% reduction in BP in one subject in comparison with baseline values, and a 19% decrease in myocardial distribution volume (DV). Administration of 1 mg/kg of naloxone before [{sup 11}C]MeNTI in another subject produced a 14% decrease in BP and a 21% decrease in the myocardial DV. These results demonstrate the ability to image these receptors in vivo by PET. PET imaging of cardiac opioid receptors may help to better understand their role in cardiovascular pathophysiology and the effect of abuse of opioids and drugs on heart function. (orig.)

  8. Oxytocin for promoting successful lactation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renfrew, M J; Lang, S; Woolridge, M

    2000-01-01

    A rise in the concentration of oxytocin causes contraction of cells around the alveoli and milk ducts, in preparation for suckling. Lactation failure may result from insufficient oxytocin. The objective of this review was to assess the effects of using oral or nasal oxytocin on lactation. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group trials register. Randomised and quasi-randomised trials of variable doses of oxytocin and different methods of administration versus placebo in breastfeeding women using oxytocin to augment lactation. Trial quality was assessed and data were extracted by two reviewers. Four trials of 639 women were included. There was potential for significant bias in these trials. Restricted breastfeeding schedules may have contributed to inadequate production of milk by the participants. Sublingual and buccal preparations of oxytocin were associated with an increase in milk production. Oxytocin did not appear to increase the incidence of breast pain and 100 international units of oxytocin appeared to be slightly more beneficial than 10 international units. An appropriate dose of sublingual or buccal oxytocin may help augment lactation where necessary. However if women are encouraged and supported with unrestricted breastfeeding, the need for oxytocin would probably be diminished.

  9. Autism, oxytocin and interoception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quattrocki, E.; Friston, Karl

    2014-01-01

    Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by profound social and verbal communication deficits, stereotypical motor behaviors, restricted interests, and cognitive abnormalities. Autism affects approximately 1% of children in developing countries. Given this prevalence, identifying risk factors and therapeutic interventions are pressing objectives—objectives that rest on neurobiologically grounded and psychologically informed theories about the underlying pathophysiology. In this article, we review the evidence that autism could result from a dysfunctional oxytocin system early in life. As a mediator of successful procreation, not only in the reproductive system, but also in the brain, oxytocin plays a crucial role in sculpting socio-sexual behavior. Formulated within a (Bayesian) predictive coding framework, we propose that oxytocin encodes the saliency or precision of interoceptive signals and enables the neuronal plasticity necessary for acquiring a generative model of the emotional and social ‘self.’ An aberrant oxytocin system in infancy could therefore help explain the marked deficits in language and social communication – as well as the sensory, autonomic, motor, behavioral, and cognitive abnormalities – seen in autism. PMID:25277283

  10. APPROACHING THE BIOLOGY OF HUMAN PARENTAL ATTACHMENT: BRAIN IMAGING, OXYTOCIN AND COORDINATED ASSESSMENTS OF MOTHERS AND FATHERS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swain, JE; Kim, P; Spicer, J; Ho, SS; Dayton, CJ; Elmadih, A; Abel, KM

    2014-01-01

    Brain networks that govern parental response to infant signals have been studied with imaging techniques over the last 15 years. The complex interaction of thoughts and behaviors required for sensitive parenting of offspring enable formation of each individual’s first social bonds and critically shape infants’ behavior. This review concentrates on magnetic resonance imaging experiments which directly examine the brain systems involved in parental responses to infant cues. First, we introduce themes in the literature on parental brain circuits studied to date. Next, we present a thorough chronological review of state-of-the-art fMRI studies that probe the parental brain with a range of baby audio and visual stimuli. We also highlight the putative role of oxytocin and effects of psychopathology, as well as the most recent work on the paternal brain. Taken together, a new model emerges in which we propose that cortico-limbic networks interact to support parental brain responses to infants for arousal/salience/motivation/reward, reflexive/instrumental caring, emotion response/regulation and integrative/complex cognitive processing. Maternal sensitivity and the quality of caregiving behavior are likely determined by the responsiveness of these circuits toward long-term influence of early-life experiences on offspring. The function of these circuits is modifiable by current and early-life experiences, hormonal and other factors. Known deviation from the range of normal function in these systems is particularly associated with (maternal) mental illnesses – commonly, depression and anxiety, but also schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Finally, we discuss the limits and extent to which brain imaging may broaden our understanding of the parental brain, and consider a current model and future directions that may have profound implications for intervention long term outcomes in families across risk and resilience profiles. PMID:24637261

  11. Effects of oxytocin and genetic variants on brain and behaviour: Implications for treatment in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartholomeusz, Cali F; Ganella, Eleni P; Labuschagne, Izelle; Bousman, Chad; Pantelis, Christos

    2015-11-01

    Impairments in social cognition and poor social functioning are core features of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. In recent years, there has been a move towards developing new treatment strategies that specifically target social cognitive and social behavioural deficits. Oxytocin (OXT) is one such strategy that has gained increasing attention. There is a strong rationale for studying OXT in psychosis, from both an evolutionary perspective and neurodevelopmental-cognitive model of schizophrenia. Thus, the aim of this review was to critique and examine the observational and clinical oxytocin trial literature in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. A handful of clinical trials suggest that OXT treatment may be beneficial for remediating social cognitive impairments, psychiatric symptoms, and improving social outcomes. However, inconsistencies exist in this literature, which may be explained by individual differences in the underlying neural response to OXT treatment and/or variation in the oxytocin and oxytocin receptor genes. Therefore, we additionally reviewed the evidence for structural and functional neural intermediate phenotypes in humans that link genetic variants to social behaviour/thinking, and discuss the implications of such interactions in the context of dysfunctional brain networks in schizophrenia. Factors that pose challenges for future OXT clinical research include the impact of age, sex, and ancestry, task-specific effects, bioavailability and pharmacokinetics, as well as neurotransmitter and drug interactions. While initial findings from OXT single dose/clinical trial studies are promising, more interdisciplinary research in both healthy and psychiatric populations is needed before determining whether OXT is a viable treatment option/adjunct for addressing poor illness outcomes in psychotic disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Pattern of hormone receptors and human epidermal growth factor ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women globally. With immunohistochemistry (IHC), breast cancer is classified into four groups based on IHC profile of estrogen receptor (ER)/progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) expression, positive (+) and/or ...

  13. The role of oxytocin in psychiatric disorders: a review of biological and therapeutic research findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochran, David M; Fallon, Daniel; Hill, Michael; Frazier, Jean A

    2013-01-01

    After participating in this educational activity, the physician should be better able to 1. Identify the biological role of oxytocin in forming attachments. 2. Evaluate the relationship between various neuropsychiatric disorders and oxytocin. 3. Identify clinical implications of using oxytocin to treat various neuropsychiatric disorders. Oxytocin is a peptide hormone integral in parturition, milk letdown, and maternal behaviors that has been demonstrated in animal studies to be important in the formation of pair bonds and in social behaviors. This hormone is increasingly recognized as an important regulator of human social behaviors, including social decision making, evaluating and responding to social stimuli, mediating social interactions, and forming social memories. In addition, oxytocin is intricately involved in a broad array of neuropsychiatric functions and may be a common factor important in multiple psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and mood and anxiety disorders. This review article examines the extant literature on the evidence for oxytocin dysfunction in a variety of psychiatric disorders and highlights the need for further research to understand the complex role of the oxytocin system in psychiatric disease and thus pave the way for developing new therapeutic modalities. Articles were selected that involved human participants with various psychiatric disorders and that either compared oxytocin biology to healthy controls or examined the effects of exogenous oxytocin administration.

  14. How to reduce synthetic oxytocin administration and stimulate the production of endogenous oxytocin in childbirth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Ragusa

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this review is to examine synthetic and natural oxytocin use in pregnancy and post-partum. We distinguished synthetic oxytocin (Syntocinon® use in labor as a uterine contraction stimulant in two parts: the first is for induction or augmentation of labor; the second for prevention of post-partum hemorrhage (PPH.Oxytocin, key hormone in the process of childbirth and lactation, is a strong smooth muscle stimulant. For this reason it is widely used to induce/augment labor and to prevent and cure PPH.However, Syntocinon® can penetrate the placenta and reach fetal circulation, thus causing various systemic effects on mother and fetus. Oxytocin plays an important role as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, affecting numerous neuro-behavioral functions and it is involved in many types of parental behavior in humans and animals. It is, in fact, involved in a wide variety of physiological and pathological functions such as sexual activity, penile erection, ejaculation, pregnancy, uterus contractions, milk ejection, maternal behavior, social bonding, and stress. Oxytocin has a decisive role in the process of “bonding” between mother and child and in that of social affiliation.We therefore explored the opportunity to reduce the use of Syntocinon® in labor ward as a precautionary measure.Finally, we place the emphasis on some techniques that will probably increase the production of endogenous oxytocin. Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Neonatology and Satellite Meetings · Cagliari (Italy · October 26th-31st, 2015 · From the womb to the adultGuest Editors: Vassilios Fanos (Cagliari, Italy, Michele Mussap (Genoa, Italy, Antonio Del Vecchio (Bari, Italy, Bo Sun (Shanghai, China, Dorret I. Boomsma (Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Gavino Faa (Cagliari, Italy, Antonio Giordano (Philadelphia, USA

  15. Serotonergic involvement in stress-induced vasopressin and oxytocin secretion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Henrik; Knigge, Ulrich; Kjaer, Andreas

    2002-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the involvement of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine - 5-HT) receptors in mediation of stress-induced arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT) secretion in male rats. DESIGN: Experiments on laboratory rats with control groups. METHODS: Different stress paradigms were...

  16. Serotonergic involvement in stress-induced vasopressin and oxytocin secretion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Henrik; Knigge, Ulrich; Kjaer, Andreas

    2002-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the involvement of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine - 5-HT) receptors in mediation of stress-induced arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT) secretion in male rats. DESIGN: Experiments on laboratory rats with control groups. METHODS: Different stress paradigms were ap...

  17. Ghrelin-Induced Enhancement of Vasopressin and Oxytocin Secretion in Rat Neurohypophyseal Cell Cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gálfi, M; Radács, M; Molnár, Zs; Budai, I; Tóth, G; Pósa, A; Kupai, K; Szalai, Z; Szabó, R; Molnár, H A; Gardi, J; László, Ferenc A; Varga, Cs

    2016-12-01

    The effects of ghrelin on vasopressin and oxytocin secretion were studied in 13-14-day cell cultures of isolated rat neurohypophyseal tissue. The vasopressin and oxytocin contents of the supernatant were determined by radioimmunoassay after a 1- or 2-h incubation. Significantly increased levels of vasopressin and oxytocin production were detected in the cell culture media following ghrelin administration, depending on the ghrelin doses. The oxytocin level proved to be more elevated than that of vasopressin. The increase of vasopressin and oxytocin secretion could be totally blocked by previous administration of the ghrelin receptor antagonist ([D-Lys 3 ]-growth hormone-releasing peptide-6). Application of the ghrelin receptor antagonist after ghrelin administration proved ineffective. The results indicate that vasopressin and oxytocin release is influenced directly by the ghrelin system, and the effects of ghrelin on vasopressin and oxytocin secretion from the neurohypophyseal tissue in rats can occur at the level of the posterior pituitary. Our observations lend support to the view that neurohypophysis contains ghrelin receptors.

  18. Oxytocin as an Indicator of Psychological and Social Well-Being in Domesticated Animals: A Critical Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Loup Rault

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is often portrayed as a hormone specific to social behavior, reflective of positive welfare states, and linked to mental states. Research on oxytocin in domesticated animal species has been few to date but is rapidly increasing (in dog, pig, cattle, sheep, with direct implications for animal welfare. This review evaluates the evidence for the specificity of oxytocin as an indicator of: 1. Social, 2. Positive, and 3. Psychological well-being. Oxytocin has most often been studied in socially relevant paradigms, with a lack of non-social control paradigms. Oxytocin research appears biased toward investigating positive valence, with a lack of control in valence or arousal. Oxytocin actions are modulated by the environmental and social contexts, which are important factors to consider. Limited evidence supports that oxytocin's actions are linked to psychological states; nevertheless whether this is a direct effect of oxytocin per se remains to be demonstrated. Overall, it is premature to judge oxytocin's potential as an animal welfare indicator given the few and discrepant findings and a lack of standardization in methodology. We cover potential causes for discrepancies and suggest solutions through appropriate methodological design, oxytocin sampling or delivery, analysis and reporting. Of particular interest, the oxytocinergic system as a whole remains poorly understood. Appreciation for the differences that social contact and group living pose in domesticated species and the way they interact with humans should be key considerations in using oxytocin as a psychosocial indicator of well-being.

  19. Oxytocin as an Indicator of Psychological and Social Well-Being in Domesticated Animals: A Critical Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rault, Jean-Loup; van den Munkhof, Marleen; Buisman-Pijlman, Femke T. A.

    2017-01-01

    Oxytocin is often portrayed as a hormone specific to social behavior, reflective of positive welfare states, and linked to mental states. Research on oxytocin in domesticated animal species has been few to date but is rapidly increasing (in dog, pig, cattle, sheep), with direct implications for animal welfare. This review evaluates the evidence for the specificity of oxytocin as an indicator of: 1. Social, 2. Positive, and 3. Psychological well-being. Oxytocin has most often been studied in socially relevant paradigms, with a lack of non-social control paradigms. Oxytocin research appears biased toward investigating positive valence, with a lack of control in valence or arousal. Oxytocin actions are modulated by the environmental and social contexts, which are important factors to consider. Limited evidence supports that oxytocin's actions are linked to psychological states; nevertheless whether this is a direct effect of oxytocin per se remains to be demonstrated. Overall, it is premature to judge oxytocin's potential as an animal welfare indicator given the few and discrepant findings and a lack of standardization in methodology. We cover potential causes for discrepancies and suggest solutions through appropriate methodological design, oxytocin sampling or delivery, analysis and reporting. Of particular interest, the oxytocinergic system as a whole remains poorly understood. Appreciation for the differences that social contact and group living pose in domesticated species and the way they interact with humans should be key considerations in using oxytocin as a psychosocial indicator of well-being. PMID:28955264

  20. Human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER 2)/neu expression ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    use

    2011-11-23

    Nov 23, 2011 ... 3Department of Pathology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei Province, 430060, China. 4Department of ... To investigate the relationship between the expression/amplification of human epidermal growth factor receptor ... epidermal growth factor receptor family; HER 2, human epidermal ...

  1. Oxytocin administration enhances controlled social cognition in patients with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolley, J D; Chuang, B; Lam, O; Lai, W; O'Donovan, A; Rankin, K P; Mathalon, D H; Vinogradov, S

    2014-09-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia have functionally significant deficits in automatic and controlled social cognition, but no currently available pharmacologic treatments reduce these deficits. The neuropeptide oxytocin has multiple prosocial effects when administered intranasally in humans and there is growing interest in its therapeutic potential in schizophrenia. We administered 40 IU of oxytocin and saline placebo intranasally to 29 male subjects with schizophrenia and 31 age-matched, healthy controls in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Social cognition was assessed with The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT) and the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET). We examined the effects of oxytocin administration on automatic social cognition (the ability to rapidly interpret and understand emotional cues from the voice, face, and body); controlled social cognition (the ability to comprehend indirectly expressed emotions, thoughts, and intentions through complex deliberations over longer time periods); and a control task (the ability to comprehend truthful dialog and perform general task procedures) in individuals with and without schizophrenia using mixed factorial analysis of variance models. Patients with schizophrenia showed significant impairments in automatic and controlled social cognition compared to healthy controls, and administration of oxytocin significantly improved their controlled, but not automatic, social cognition, F(1, 58)=8.75; p=0.004. Conversely, oxytocin administration had limited effects on social cognition in healthy participants. Patients and controls performed equally well and there were no effects of oxytocin administration on the control task. Intact social cognitive abilities are associated with better functional outcomes in individuals with schizophrenia. Our data highlight the potentially complex effects of oxytocin on some but not all aspects of social cognition, and support the exploration of

  2. Differences in the interaction of acetylcholine receptor antibodies with receptor from normal, denervated and myasthenic human muscle.

    OpenAIRE

    Lefvert, A. K.

    1982-01-01

    The interaction of acetylcholine receptor antibodies with different kinds of human skeletal muscle receptor was investigated. The reaction of most receptor antibodies was strongest with receptor from a patient with myasthenia gravis and with receptor from denervated muscle. Results obtained with these receptors were well correlated. The binding of most receptor antibodies to receptor from functionally normal muscle was much weaker and also qualitatively different. In a few patients with moder...

  3. Interaction between NO and oxytocin: Influence on LHRH release

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Rettori

    1997-04-01

    Full Text Available Nitric oxide synthase (NOS-containing neurons have been localized in various parts of the CNS. These neurons occur in the hypothalamus, mostly in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei and their axons project to the neural lobe of the pituitary gland. We have found that nitric oxide (NO controls luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH release from the hypothalamus acting as a signal transducer in norepinephrine (NE-induced LHRH release. LHRH not only releases LH from the pituitary but also induces sexual behavior. On the other hand, it is known that oxytocin also stimulates mating behavior and there is some evidence that oxytocin can increase NE release. Therefore, it occurred to us that oxytocin may also stimulate LHRH release via NE and NO. To test this hypothesis, we incubated medial basal hypothalamic (MBH explants from adult male rats in vitro. Following a preincubation period of 30 min, MBH fragments were incubated in Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate buffer in the presence of various concentrations of oxytocin. Oxytocin released LHRH at concentrations ranging from 0.1 nM to 1 µM with a maximal stimulatory effect (Pa1-adrenergic receptor antagonist, indicating that NE mediated this effect. Oxytocin at the same concentrations also increased the activity of NOS (P<0.01 as measured by the conversion of [14C]arginine to citrulline, which is produced in equimolar amounts with NO by the action of NOS. The release of LHRH induced by oxytocin was also accompanied by a significant (P<0.02 increase in the release of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2, a mediator of LHRH release that is released by NO. On the other hand, incubation of neural lobes with various concentrations of sodium nitroprusside (NP (300 or 600 µM, a releaser of NO, revealed that NO acts to suppress (P<0.01 the release of oxytocin. Therefore, our results indicate that oxytocin releases LHRH by stimulating NOS via NE, resulting in an increased release of NO, which increases PGE2 release that

  4. (/sup 3/H)-(Thr4,Gly7)OT: a highly selective ligand for central and peripheral OT receptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elands, J.; Barberis, C.; Jard, S.

    1988-01-01

    Oxytocin receptors in rat hippocampal synaptic plasma membranes were compared with mammary gland and uterine oxytocin receptors. For this purpose, a highly specific oxytocic agonist (Thr4,Gly7)oxytocin was tritiated. We demonstrated that this ligand labels oxytocin receptors selectively. Scatchard analyses revealed a high affinity for all the oxytocin receptors investigated, with equilibrium dissociation constants between 1.0 and 2.0 nM. Binding appeared to take place at a single population of receptor sites. Competition experiments confirmed the high affinity of arginine vasopressin for hippocampal oxytocin receptors but also revealed that mammary gland and uterine oxytocin receptors do not discriminate more efficiently between oxytocin and arginine vasopressin. This lack in specificity is not affected by applying different concentrations of Mg ions.

  5. A randomised controlled trial comparing oxytocin and oxytocin + ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A randomised controlled trial comparing oxytocin and oxytocin + ergometrine for prevention of postpartum haemorrhage at caesarean section. S Koen, BSc, MB BCh; L C Snyman, BMedSci, MB ChB, MMed (O&G), FCOG (SA), MPraxMed;. R C Pattinson, BSc, MB BCh, FRCOG, MD, FCOG (SA), MMed (O&G), MRCOG; J A ...

  6. Nasal Oxytocin for Social Deficits in Childhood Autism: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dadds, Mark R.; MacDonald, Elayne; Cauchi, Avril; Williams, Katrina; Levy, Florence; Brennan, John

    2014-01-01

    The last two decades have witnessed a surge in research investigating the application of oxytocin as a method of enhancing social behaviour in humans. Preliminary evidence suggests oxytocin may have potential as an intervention for autism. We evaluated a 5-day "live-in" intervention using a double-blind randomized control trial. 38 male…

  7. Oxytocin enables novelty seeking and creative performance through upregulated approach: evidence and avenues for future research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Dreu, C.K.W.; Baas, M.; Boot, N.C.

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin is an evolutionary ancient hypothalamic neuropeptide well known for its role in reproduction, social bonding, and group affiliation. Recent work has linked oxytocin in humans to creative cognition—the ability to produce insights, ideas, and problem solutions that are original and

  8. Oxytocin reversed MK-801-induced social interaction and aggression deficits in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, Fernanda Francine; Gaspary, Karina Vidarte; Siebel, Anna Maria; Bonan, Carla Denise

    2016-09-15

    Changes in social behavior occur in several neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. The interaction between individuals is an essential aspect and an adaptive response of several species, among them the zebrafish. Oxytocin is a neuroendocrine hormone associated with social behavior. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of MK-801, a non-competitive antagonist of glutamate NMDA receptors, on social interaction and aggression in zebrafish. We also examined the modulation of those effects by oxytocin, the oxytocin receptor agonist carbetocin and the oxytocin receptor antagonist L-368,899. Our results showed that MK-801 induced a decrease in the time spent in the segment closest to the conspecific school and in the time spent in the segment nearest to the mirror image, suggesting an effect on social behavior. The treatment with oxytocin after the exposure to MK-801 was able to reestablish the time spent in the segment closest to the conspecific school, as well as the time spent in the segment nearest to the mirror image. In addition, in support of the role of the oxytocin pathway in modulating those responses, we showed that the oxytocin receptor agonist carbetocin reestablished the social and aggressive behavioral deficits induced by MK-801. However, the oxytocin receptor antagonist L-368,899 was not able to reverse the behavioral changes induced by MK-801. This study supports the critical role for NMDA receptors and the oxytocinergic system in the regulation of social behavior and aggression which may be relevant for the mechanisms associated to autism and schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Oxytocin increases heart rate variability in humans at rest: implications for social approach-related motivation and capacity for social engagement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew H Kemp

    Full Text Available CONTEXT: Oxytocin (OT plays a key regulatory role in human social behaviour. While prior studies have examined the effects of OT on observable social behaviours, studies have seldom examined the effects of OT on psychophysiological markers such as heart rate variability (HRV, which provides an index of individual's motivation for social behaviour. Furthermore, no studies have examined the impact of OT on HRV under resting conditions, which provides an index of maximal capacity for social engagement. OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of OT on HRV measures in healthy male participants while at rest. OT was hypothesised to increase HRV, compared to placebo, and that the effects would be greatest for a non-linear measure of HRV (the detrended fluctuation scaling exponent. METHODS: Twenty-one male participants were recruited for this study. Participants were non-smokers, not on any medications and reported no history of psychiatric illness, neurological disorder, or any other serious medical condition (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease. The study employed a randomised, placebo-controlled, within-subject, crossover, experimental design. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: HRV was calculated from electrocardiography under a standardized, 10-minute, resting state condition. RESULTS: As hypothesised, OT increased HRV and these effects were largest using the detrended fluctuation scaling exponent, a non-linear measure. These changes were observed in the absence of any change in state mood, as measured by the profile of mood states. Importantly, participants were unable to correctly guess which treatment they had been assigned at either of the two assessments. CONCLUSIONS: Together with the broader literature on OT and HRV, findings suggest that acute administration of OT may facilitate a fundamental psychophysiological feature of social behaviour, increasing capacity for social engagement. Findings also suggest that HRV changes may provide a novel biomarker of

  10. Relationship Between Oxytocin and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuğba Kalyoncu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, while characterized by attention problems, hyperactivity and impulsivity, essentially is a phenotypically heterogenous disorder. Social cognition disorders are important in ADHD, particularly in children due to their role in difficulties in social relations. Social cognition is crucial for the individual to build relations with others and through such relations inform social behavior. It has been suggested that sub-units of social cognition such as facial recognition and empathy are related to oxytocin. It is thought that individuals diagnosed with ADHD, for whom such skills are less readily available, have difficulties communicating on a social scale. PubMed medical search engine was used to identify the studies and review articles on oxytocin and ADHD. While the oxytocin gene and the oxytocin receptor gene are extensively studied in autism spectrum disorders, data on ADHD is scarce. Oxytocin, known as a mediator of social behavior, also affects the phenotype of ADHD, a disease subject to genetic and environmental influences determining its phenotype and individual case differences.

  11. Schizophrenia and alcohol dependence: diverse clinical effects of oxytocin and their evolutionary origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Cort A

    2014-09-11

    Beginning in 1979 with the first report that central administration of oxytocin stimulates maternal behavior in virgin rats, decades of animal research and more recent human studies have demonstrated that oxytocin has many pro-social effects. These many findings suggest that oxytocin may be an effective treatment for social deficits that are hallmark features of disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Effects in preclinical animal models also imply that oxytocin may be an efficacious pharmacotherapy in a wide range of psychiatric disorders including psychoses and addictions. To date, 3 small clinical trials found that daily intranasal oxytocin treatment for 2-8 weeks significantly reduced psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia. Two of these trials also found improvement in social cognition or neurocognition, areas in which patients have significant deficiencies that do not respond to conventional antipsychotic treatment and contribute to disability. In another small trial, intranasal oxytocin potently blocked alcohol withdrawal. After reviewing the rationale for these trials, they are described in more detail. Questions are then asked followed by discussions of the large gaps in our knowledge about brain oxytocin systems in humans. The hope is to highlight important directions for future investigations of the role of oxytocin in the pathophysiology of psychotic disorders and addictions and to extend clinical research in these areas. Heretofore unrecognized roles for which oxytocin may have been selected during the evolution of placental mammalian maternal-infant and other social attachments are considered as possible origins of oxytocin antipsychotic and antiaddiction effects.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin and Social Behav. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Polymorphisms in human muscarinic receptor subtype genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Michel, Martin C.; Teitsma, Christine A.

    2012-01-01

    A wide range of polymorphisms have been reported in muscarinic receptor subtype genes, mostly in M₁ and M₂ and, to a lesser extent, M₃ receptors. Most studies linking such genetic variability to phenotype have been performed for brain functions, but a more limited amount of information is also

  13. Two Birds with One Stone: Possible Dual-role of oxytocin in the treatment of diabetes and osteoporosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seham eElabd

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin, a hormone most commonly associated with labor and lactation, may have a wide variety of physiological and pathological functions, which makes oxytocin and its receptor potential targets for drug therapy. In this review, we highlight the newly discovered metabolic role of oxytocin in diabetes and its complication; such as diabetic osteopathy. Oxytocin may have positive metabolic effects; this is based on the change in glucose metabolism, lipid profile, and insulin sensitivity. It may modify glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity both through direct and/or indirect effects. It may also cause regenerative changes in diabetic pancreatic islet cells. Moreover, it has an anabolic effect on the bone biology. So, the activation of the oxytocin receptor pathway by infusion of OT, OT analogs, or OT agonists may represent a promising approach for the treatment of diabetes and some of its complications, including diabetic osteopathy.

  14. Intranasal oxytocin effects on social cognition: a critique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Simon L; Dal Monte, Olga; Noble, Pamela; Averbeck, Bruno B

    2014-09-11

    The last decade has seen a large number of published findings supporting the hypothesis that intranasally delivered oxytocin (OT) can enhance the processing of social stimuli and regulate social emotion-related behaviors such as trust, memory, fidelity, and anxiety. The use of nasal spray for administering OT in behavioral research has become a standard method, but many questions still exist regarding its action. OT is a peptide that cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, and it has yet to be shown that it does indeed reach the brain when delivered intranasally. Given the evidence, it seems highly likely that OT does affect behavior when delivered as a nasal spray. These effects may be driven by at least three possible mechanisms. First, the intranasally delivered OT may diffuse directly into the CNS where it directly engages OT receptors. Second, the intranasally delivered OT may trigger increased central release via an indirect peripheral mechanism. And third, the indirect peripheral effects may directly lead to behavioral effects via some mechanism other than increased central release. Although intranasally delivered OT likely affects behavior, there are conflicting reports as to the exact nature of those behavioral changes: some studies suggest that OT effects are not always "pro-social" and others suggest effects on social behaviors are due to a more general anxiolytic effect. In this critique, we draw from work in healthy human populations and the animal literature to review the mechanistic aspects of intranasal OT delivery, and to discuss intranasal OT effects on social cognition and behavior. We conclude that future work should control carefully for anxiolytic and gender effects, which could underlie inconsistencies in the existing literature. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin and Social Behav. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Protocol for a placebo-controlled, within-participants crossover trial evaluating the efficacy of intranasal oxytocin to improve pain and function among women with chronic pelvic musculoskeletal pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rash, Joshua A; Toivonen, Kirsti; Robert, Magali; Nasr-Esfahani, Maryam; Jarrell, John F; Campbell, Tavis S

    2017-04-16

    This protocol presents the rationale and design for a trial evaluating the efficacy of intranasal oxytocin in improving pain and function among women with chronic pelvic musculoskeletal pain. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide traditionally recognised for involvement in labour, delivery and lactation. Novel evidence suggests that oxytocin decreases pain sensitivity in humans. While oxytocin administration has been reported to lower pain sensitivity among patients experiencing chronic back pain, headache, constipation and colon pain, no research has evaluated the association between intranasal oxytocin and chronic pelvic musculoskeletal pain. The association between oxytocin and pain may differ in women with chronic pelvic musculoskeletal pain relative to other chronic pain conditions because of the abundance of oxytocin receptors in the uterus. This is a prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, within-participants crossover trial. 50 women with chronic pelvic musculoskeletal pain will be recruited through a local chronic pain centre and gynaecology clinics. Women will complete baseline measures and be randomised to an experimental or control condition that involve 2 weeks of self-administering twice-daily doses of 24 IU intranasal oxytocin or placebo, respectively. Women will then undergo a 2-week washout period before crossing over to receive the condition that they had not yet received. The primary outcome will be pain and function measured using the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form. Secondary outcomes include emotional function, sleep disturbance and global impression of change. This trial will provide data on the 14-day safety and side-effect profile of intranasal oxytocin self-administered as an adjuvant treatment for chronic pelvic musculoskeletal pain. This trial was granted approval from Health Canada and the University of Calgary Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board, and is registered online at ClinicalTrials.gov (#NCT02888574). Results will

  16. Functional partial agonism at cloned human muscarinic acetylcholine receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bräuner-Osborne, Hans; Ebert, B; Brann, M R

    1996-01-01

    of maximal response, depending on the molar ratio of agonist and antagonist used. Using recombinant human muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (m1 and m5) and the functional assay, receptor selection and amplification technology (R-SAT), we have now shown that co-administration of the full agonist, carbachol...

  17. Maternal Oxytocin Administration Before Birth Influences the Effects of Birth Anoxia on the Neonatal Rat Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boksa, Patricia; Zhang, Ying; Nouel, Dominique

    2015-08-01

    Ineffective contractions and prolonged labor are common birth complications in primiparous women, and oxytocin is the most common agent given for induction or augmentation of labor. Clinical studies in humans suggest oxytocin might adversely affect the CNS response to hypoxia at birth. In this study, we used a rat model of global anoxia during Cesarean section birth to test if administering oxytocin to pregnant dams prior to birth affects the acute neonatal CNS response to birth anoxia. Anoxic pups born from dams pre-treated with intravenous injections or infusions of oxytocin before birth showed significantly increased brain lactate, a metabolic indicator of CNS hypoxia, compared to anoxic pups from dams pre-treated with saline. Anoxic pups born from dams given oxytocin before birth also showed decreased brain ATP compared to anoxic pups from saline dams. Direct injection of oxytocin to postnatal day 2 rat pups followed by exposure to anoxia also resulted in increased brain lactate and decreased brain ATP, compared to anoxia exposure alone. Oxytocin pre-treatment of the dam decreased brain malondialdehyde, a marker of lipid peroxidation, as well as protein kinase C activity, both in anoxic pups and controls, suggesting oxytocin may reduce aspects of oxidative stress. Finally, when dams were pretreated with indomethacin, a cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, maternal oxytocin no longer potentiated effects of anoxia on neonatal brain lactate, suggesting this effect of oxytocin may be mediated via prostaglandin production or other COX-derived products. The results indicate that maternal oxytocin administration may have multiple acute effects on CNS metabolic responses to anoxia at birth.

  18. Peripheral oxytocin suppresses food intake and causes weight loss in diet-induced obese rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thatcher, Brendan S.; Reidelberger, Roger D.; Ogimoto, Kayoko; Wolden-Hanson, Tami; Baskin, Denis G.; Schwartz, Michael W.; Blevins, James E.

    2012-01-01

    Growing evidence suggests that oxytocin plays an important role in the regulation of energy balance and that central oxytocin administration induces weight loss in diet-induced obese (DIO) animals. To gain a better understanding of how oxytocin mediates these effects, we examined feeding and neuronal responses to oxytocin in animals rendered obese following exposure to either a high-fat (HFD) or low-fat diet (LFD). Our findings demonstrate that peripheral administration of oxytocin dose-dependently reduces food intake and body weight to a similar extent in rats maintained on either diet. Moreover, the effect of oxytocin to induce weight loss remained intact in leptin receptor-deficient Koletsky (fak/fak) rats relative to their lean littermates. To determine whether systemically administered oxytocin activates hindbrain areas that regulate meal size, we measured neuronal c-Fos induction in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) and area postrema (AP). We observed a robust neuronal response to oxytocin in these hindbrain areas that was unexpectedly increased in rats rendered obese on a HFD relative to lean, LFD-fed controls. Finally, we report that repeated daily peripheral administration of oxytocin in DIO animals elicited a sustained reduction of food intake and body weight while preventing the reduction of energy expenditure characteristic of weight-reduced animals. These findings extend recent evidence suggesting that oxytocin circumvents leptin resistance and induces weight-loss in DIO animals through a mechanism involving activation of neurons in the NTS and AP, key hindbrain areas for processing satiety-related inputs. PMID:22008455

  19. Peripheral administration of oxytocin increases social affiliation in the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Skyler J; Douglas, Natasha R; Holmes, Melissa M

    2014-04-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin regulates a wide variety of social behaviors across diverse species. However, the types of behaviors that are influenced by this hormone are constrained by the species in question and the social organization that a particular species exhibits. Therefore, the present experiments investigated behaviors regulated by oxytocin in a eusocial mammalian species by using the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber). In Experiment 1, adult non-breeding mole-rats were given intraperitoneal injections of either oxytocin (1mg/kg or 10mg/kg) or saline on alternate days. Animals were then returned to their colony and behavior was recorded for minutes 15-30 post-injection. Both doses of oxytocin increased huddling behavior during this time period. In Experiment 2, animals received intraperitoneal injections of either oxytocin (1mg/kg), an oxytocin-receptor antagonist (0.1mg/kg), a cocktail of oxytocin and the antagonist, or saline across 4 testing days in a counterbalanced design. Animals were placed in either a 2-chamber arena with a familiar conspecific or in a small chamber with 1week old pups from their home colony and behaviors were recorded for minutes 15-30 post-injection. Oxytocin increased investigation of, and time spent in close proximity to, a familiar conspecific; these effects were blocked by the oxytocin antagonist. No effects were seen on pup-directed behavior. These data suggest that oxytocin is capable of modulating affiliative-like behavior in this eusocial species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Generous to whom? The influence of oxytocin on social discounting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Zhang, Junfeng; Chen, Qiaoyu; Kok, Bing Cai; Yu, Rongjun

    2017-05-01

    Oxytocin is thought to play an essential role in pro-social behaviors, such as generosity and altruism, in humans. Yet, most research in humans that demonstrated the pro-social effect of oxytocin had participants interact with partners who were total strangers to them. In real life, however, people often interact with others varying in social relatedness with them (a concept known as social distance), ranging from their parents to total strangers. Here we employed the social-discounting framework to investigate whether the effect of oxytocin on prosociality depends on the social distance between the participants and their interaction partners. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment (n=172 participants), we measured the amount of money participants were willing to forgo to another person as a function of social distance. We found that oxytocin administration selectively enhanced amount of money forgone toward total strangers, as opposed to someone closer to participants, suggesting that social distance constrained the pro-social effect of oxytocin. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Intranasal administration of oxytocin increases envy and schadenfreude (gloating).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamay-Tsoory, Simone G; Fischer, Meytal; Dvash, Jonathan; Harari, Hagai; Perach-Bloom, Nufar; Levkovitz, Yechiel

    2009-11-01

    Humans have a strong social tendency to compare themselves with others. We tend to feel envious when we receive less valuable rewards and may rejoice when our payoffs are more advantageous. Envy and schadenfreude (gloating over the other's misfortune) are social emotions widely agreed to be a symptom of the human social tendency to compare one's payoffs with those of others. Given the important social components of envy and gloating, we speculated that oxytocin may have a modulating effect on the intensity of these emotions. Fifty-six participants participated in this double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject study. Following the administration of oxytocin or a placebo, participants played a game of chance with another (fake) participant who either won more money (envy manipulation), lost more money (schadenfreude manipulation), or won/lost equal amounts of money. In comparison with the placebo, oxytocin increased the envy ratings during unequal monetary gain conditions involving relative loss (when the participant gained less money than another player). Oxytocin also increased the ratings of gloating during relative gain conditions (when the participant gained more money than the other player). By contrast, oxytocin had no effect on the emotional ratings following equal monetary gains nor did it affect general mood ratings. These results suggest that the oxytocinergic system is involved in modulating envy and gloating. Thus, contrary to the prevailing belief that this system is involved solely in positive prosocial behaviors, it probably plays a key role in a wider range of social emotion-related behaviors.

  2. Crystal structure of the human σ1 receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Hayden R; Zheng, Sanduo; Gurpinar, Esin; Koehl, Antoine; Manglik, Aashish; Kruse, Andrew C

    2016-04-28

    The human σ1 receptor is an enigmatic endoplasmic-reticulum-resident transmembrane protein implicated in a variety of disorders including depression, drug addiction, and neuropathic pain. Recently, an additional connection to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has emerged from studies of human genetics and mouse models. Unlike many transmembrane receptors that belong to large, extensively studied families such as G-protein-coupled receptors or ligand-gated ion channels, the σ1 receptor is an evolutionary isolate with no discernible similarity to any other human protein. Despite its increasingly clear importance in human physiology and disease, the molecular architecture of the σ1 receptor and its regulation by drug-like compounds remain poorly defined. Here we report crystal structures of the human σ1 receptor in complex with two chemically divergent ligands, PD144418 and 4-IBP. The structures reveal a trimeric architecture with a single transmembrane domain in each protomer. The carboxy-terminal domain of the receptor shows an extensive flat, hydrophobic membrane-proximal surface, suggesting an intimate association with the cytosolic surface of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane in cells. This domain includes a cupin-like β-barrel with the ligand-binding site buried at its centre. This large, hydrophobic ligand-binding cavity shows remarkable plasticity in ligand recognition, binding the two ligands in similar positions despite dissimilar chemical structures. Taken together, these results reveal the overall architecture, oligomerization state, and molecular basis for ligand recognition by this important but poorly understood protein.

  3. Expression of haemopexin receptors by cultured human cytotrophoblast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H.P. van Dijk (Hans); M.J. Kroos; J.S. Starreveld; H.G. van Eijk (Henk); S.P. Tang; D.X. Song

    1995-01-01

    textabstractThe expression of cell-surface haemopexin (Hx) receptors on human cytotrophoblasts was assessed by using four different Hx species purified from plasma: human Hx isolated by wheatgerm-affinity chromatography, human Hx isolated by haem-agarose-affinity

  4. Oxytocin signaling in the medial amygdala is required for sex discrimination of social cues

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, Shenqin; Bergan, Joseph; Lanjuin, Anne; Dulac, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    The neural control of social behaviors in rodents requires the encoding of pheromonal cues by the vomeronasal system. Here we show that the typical preference of male mice for females is eliminated in mutants lacking oxytocin, a neuropeptide modulating social behaviors in many species. Ablation of the oxytocin receptor in aromatase-expressing neurons of the medial amygdala (MeA) fully recapitulates the elimination of female preference in males. Further, single-unit recording in the MeA uncove...

  5. Radiolabelled GLP-1 receptor antagonist binds to GLP-1 receptor-expressing human tissues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waser, Beatrice; Reubi, Jean Claude [University of Berne, Division of Cell Biology and Experimental Cancer Research, Institute of Pathology, PO Box 62, Berne (Switzerland)

    2014-06-15

    Radiolabelled glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists have recently been shown to successfully image benign insulinomas in patients. For the somatostatin receptor targeting of tumours, however, it was recently reported that antagonist tracers were superior to agonist tracers. The present study therefore evaluated various forms of the {sup 125}iodinated-Bolton-Hunter (BH)-exendin(9-39) antagonist tracer for the in vitro visualization of GLP-1 receptor-expressing tissues in rats and humans and compared it with the agonist tracer {sup 125}I-GLP-1(7-36)amide. Receptor autoradiography studies with {sup 125}I-GLP-1(7-36)amide agonist or {sup 125}I-BH-exendin(9-39) antagonist radioligands were performed in human and rat tissues. The antagonist {sup 125}I-BH-exendin(9-39) labelled at lysine 19 identifies all human and rat GLP-1 target tissues and GLP-1 receptor-expressing tumours. Binding is of high affinity and is comparable in all tested tissues in its binding properties with the agonist tracer {sup 125}I-GLP-1(7-36)amide. For comparison, {sup 125}I-BH-exendin(9-39) with the BH labelled at lysine 4 did identify the GLP-1 receptor in rat tissues but not in human tissues. The GLP-1 receptor antagonist exendin(9-39) labelled with {sup 125}I-BH at lysine 19 is an excellent GLP-1 radioligand that identifies human and rat GLP-1 receptors in normal and tumoural tissues. It may therefore be the molecular basis to develop suitable GLP-1 receptor antagonist radioligands for in vivo imaging of GLP-1 receptor-expressing tissues in patients. (orig.)

  6. Expression of the endocannabinoid receptors in human fascial tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Fede

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoid receptors have been localized in the central and peripheral nervous system as well as on cells of the immune system, but recent studies on animal tissue gave evidence for the presence of cannabinoid receptors in different types of tissues. Their presence was supposed also in myofascial tissue, suggesting that the endocannabinoid system may help resolve myofascial trigger points and relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, until now the expression of CB1 (cannabinoid receptor 1 and CB2 (cannabinoid receptor 2 in fasciae has not yet been established. Small samples of fascia were collected from volunteers patients during orthopedic surgery. For each sample were done a cell isolation, immunohistochemical investigation (CB1 and CB2 antibodies and real time RT-PCR to detect the expression of CB1 and CB2. Both cannabinoid receptors are expressed in human fascia and in human fascial fibroblasts culture cells, although to a lesser extent than the control gene. We can assume that the expression of mRNA and protein of CB1 and CB2 receptors in fascial tissue are concentrated into the fibroblasts. This is the first demonstration that the fibroblasts of the muscular fasciae express CB1 and CB2. The presence of these receptors could help to provide a description of cannabinoid receptors distribution and to better explain the role of fasciae as pain generator and the efficacy of some fascial treatments. Indeed the endocannabinoid receptors of fascial fibroblasts can contribute to modulate the fascial fibrosis and inflammation.

  7. A matter of distance-The effect of oxytocin on social discounting is empathy-dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strang, Sabrina; Gerhardt, Holger; Marsh, Nina; Oroz Artigas, Sergio; Hu, Yang; Hurlemann, René; Park, Soyoung Q

    2017-04-01

    Generosity is an important behavior enriching human society and can be observed across cultures. However, generosity has been shown to be modulated as a function of social distance, also referred to as social discounting. Oxytocin and empathy are other factors that have been shown to play an important role in generous behavior. However, how exactly oxytocin and empathy impact social discounting is yet unknown. Here, we administered oxytocin or placebo in a double-blind design, and measured social discounting behavior. Additionally, individual differences in empathy were assessed. Our results show that the effect of oxytocin on generous behavior is modulated by trait empathy; only for those subjects who received oxytocin there was a positive correlation between individual trait empathy and their generous behavior towards close others. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. The Insect Ortholog of the Human Orphan Cytokine Receptor CRLF3 Is a Neuroprotective Erythropoietin Receptor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Hahn

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The cytokine erythropoietin (Epo mediates various cell homeostatic responses to environmental challenges and pathological insults. While stimulation of vertebrate erythrocyte production is mediated by homodimeric “classical” Epo receptors, alternative receptors are involved in neuroprotection. However, their identity remains enigmatic due to complex cytokine ligand and receptor interactions and conflicting experimental results. Besides the classical Epo receptor, the family of type I cytokine receptors also includes the poorly characterized orphan cytokine receptor-like factor 3 (CRLF3 present in vertebrates including human and various insect species. By making use of the more simple genetic makeup of insect model systems, we studied whether CRLF3 is a neuroprotective Epo receptor in animals. We identified a single ortholog of CRLF3 in the beetle Tribolium castaneum, and established protocols for primary neuronal cell cultures from Tribolium brains and efficient in vitro RNA interference. Recombinant human Epo as well as the non-erythropoietic Epo splice variant EV-3 increased the survival of serum-deprived brain neurons, confirming the previously described neuroprotective effect of Epo in insects. Moreover, Epo completely prevented hypoxia-induced apoptotic cell death of primary neuronal cultures. Knockdown of CRLF3 expression by RNA interference with two different double stranded RNA (dsRNA fragments abolished the neuroprotective effect of Epo, indicating that CRLF3 is a crucial component of the insect Epo-responsive receptor. This suggests that a common urbilaterian ancestor of the orphan human and insect cytokine receptor CRLF3 served as a neuroprotective receptor for an Epo-like cytokine. Our work also suggests that vertebrate CRLF3, like its insect ortholog, might represent a tissue protection-mediating receptor.

  9. Relations between plasma oxytocin and cortisol: The stress buffering role of social support

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robyn J. McQuaid

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Stress responses in humans can be attenuated by exogenous oxytocin administration, and these stress-buffering properties may be moderated by social factors. Yet, the influence of acute stressors on circulating endogenous oxytocin levels have been inconsistent, and limited information is available concerning the influence of social support in moderating this relationship. In the current investigation, undergraduate women (N = 67 were assessed in the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST with either social support available from a close female friend or no social support being available. An additional set of women served as controls. The TSST elicited marked elevations of state anxiety and negative emotions, which were largely attenuated among women who received social support. Furthermore, baseline oxytocin levels were inversely related to women's general feelings of distrust, as well as basal plasma cortisol levels. Despite these associations, oxytocin levels were unaffected by the TSST, and this was the case irrespective of oral contraceptive use or estrogen levels. In contrast, plasma cortisol elevations were elicited by the psychosocial stressor, but only in women using oral contraceptives, an effect that was prevented when social support was available. Taken together, these data provisionally suggest that changes in plasma oxytocin might not accompany the stress attenuating effects of social support on cortisol levels. Moreover, as plasma oxytocin might not reliably reflect brain oxytocin levels, the linkage between oxytocin and prosocial behaviors remains tenuous.

  10. A brief history of oxytocin and its role in modulating psychostimulant effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carson, Dean S; Guastella, Adam J; Taylor, Emily R; McGregor, Iain S

    2013-03-01

    Over the past century, the polypeptide oxytocin has played an important role in medicine with major highlights including the identification of its involvement in parturition and the milk let-down reflex. Oxytocin is now implicated in an extensive range of psychological phenomena including reward and memory processes and has been investigated as a treatment for several psychiatric disorders including addiction, anxiety, autism, and schizophrenia. In this review, we first provide an historical overview of oxytocin and describe key aspects of its physiological activity. We then outline some pharmacological limitations in this field of research before highlighting the role of oxytocin in a wide range of behavioral and neuronal processes. Finally, we review evidence for a modulatory role of oxytocin with regard to psychostimulant effects. Key findings suggest that oxytocin attenuates a broad number of cocaine and methamphetamine induced behaviors and associated neuronal activity in rodents. Evidence also outlines a role for oxytocin in the prosocial effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy) in both rodents and humans. Clinical trials should now investigate the effectiveness of oxytocin as a novel intervention for psychostimulant addiction and should aim to determine its specific role in the therapeutic properties of MDMA that are currently being investigated.

  11. Effects of PGE2 and PGF2 alpha on the simulation by noradrenaline and oxytocin of human cervical muscle activity at term.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryman, I; Norström, A; Lindblom, B

    1985-11-15

    Cervical specimens were obtained by needle biopsy in connection with caesarean section at term pregnancy. The preparations were superfused in an organ chamber and contractions were registered isometrically. Prostaglandin (PG) E2 and F2 alpha inhibited spontaneous contractions. The stimulatory action of noradrenaline was not influenced by PGF2 alpha but was reduced by PGE2 whereas both PGs abolished the excitatory effect of oxytocin.

  12. Evidence for Alpha Receptors in the Human Ureter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madeb, Ralph; Knopf, Joy; Golijanin, Dragan; Bourne, Patricia; Erturk, Erdal

    2007-04-01

    An immunohistochemical and western blot expression analysis of human ureters was performed in order to characterize the alpha-1-adrenergic receptor distribution along the length of the human ureteral wall. Mapping the distribution will assist in understanding the potential role alpha -1-adrenergic receptors and their subtype density might have in the pathophysiology of ureteral colic and stone passage. Patients diagnosed with renal cancer or bladder cancer undergoing nephrectomy, nephroureterectomy, or cystectomy had ureteral specimens taken from the proximal, mid, distal and tunneled ureter. Tissues were processed for fresh frozen examination and fixed in formalin. None of the ureteral specimens were involved with cancer. Serial histologic sections and immunohistochemical studies were performed using antibodies specific for alpha-1-adrenergic receptor subtypes (alpha 1a, alpha 1b, alpha 1d). The sections were examined under a light microscope and scored as positive or negative. In order to validate and quantify the alpha receptor subtypes along the human ureter. Western blotting techniques were applied. Human ureter stained positively for alpha -1-adrenergic receptors. Immunostaining appeared red, with intense reaction in the smooth muscle of the ureter and endothelium of the neighboring blood vessels. There was differential expression between all the receptors with the highest staining for alpha-1D subtype. The highest protein expression for all three subtypes was in the renal pelvis and decreased with advancement along the ureter to the distal ureter. At the distal ureter, there was marked increase in expression as one progressed towards the ureteral orifice. The same pattern of protein expression was exhibited for all three alpha -1-adrenergic receptor subtypes. We provide preliminary evidence for the ability to detect and quantify the alpha-1-receptor subtypes along the human ureter which to the best of our knowledge has never been done with

  13. Sexual dimorphism in oxytocin responses to health perception and disgust, with implications for theories on pathogen detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Declerck, Carolyn H; Lambert, B; Boone, C

    2014-05-01

    In response to a recent hypothesis that the neuropeptide oxytocin might be involved in human pathogen avoidance mechanisms, we report the results of a study in which we investigate the effect of intranasal oxytocin on two behaviors serving as proxies for pathogen detection. Participants received either oxytocin or a placebo and were asked to evaluate (1) the health of Caucasian male computer-generated pictures that varied in facial redness (an indicator of hemoglobin perfusion) and (2) a series of pictures depicting disgusting scenarios. Men, but not women, evaluated all faces, regardless of color, as less healthy when given oxytocin compared to a placebo. Women, on the other hand, expressed decreased disgust when given oxytocin compared to a placebo. These results suggest that intranasal oxytocin administration does not facilitate pathogen detection based on visual cues, but instead reveal clear sex differences in the perception of health and sickness cues. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The effects of adjunctive intranasal oxytocin in patients with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ota, Miho; Yoshida, Sumiko; Nakata, Masanori; Yada, Toshihiko; Kunugi, Hiroshi

    2018-01-01

    Both human and animal studies have suggested that oxytocin may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of schizophrenia. We evaluated the effects of intranasal oxytocin on cognition and its predictive factors in Japanese patients with schizophrenia. Subjects were 16 chronic schizophrenia patients who underwent intranasal oxytocin treatment for 3 months and were assessed for changes in severity of clinical symptoms and cognitions. Fifteen of the 16 subjects underwent 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging. Oxytocin significantly reduced scores on the positive and negative syndrome scale, especially on the negative symptoms. As for cognition, there was an improvement of the verbal fluency. Furthermore, the change of the negative score in positive and negative syndrome scale showed a negative correlation with the gray matter volumes of the right insula and left cingulate cortex. Our results indicate that daily administration of intranasal oxytocin may be effective for ameliorating clinical symptoms and cognitive functions in chronic schizophrenia patients, and this improvement may be related to the gray matter volume of the right insula and left cingulate cortex.

  15. Childhood maternal care is associated with DNA methylation of the genes for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and oxytocin receptor (OXTR) in peripheral blood cells in adult men and women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unternaehrer, Eva; Meyer, Andrea Hans; Burkhardt, Susan C A; Dempster, Emma; Staehli, Simon; Theill, Nathan; Lieb, Roselind; Meinlschmidt, Gunther

    2015-01-01

    In adults, reporting low and high maternal care in childhood, we compared DNA methylation in two stress-associated genes (two target sequences in the oxytocin receptor gene, OXTR; one in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene, BDNF) in peripheral whole blood, in a cross-sectional study (University of Basel, Switzerland) during 2007-2008. We recruited 89 participants scoring  33 (n = 42, 35 women) on the maternal care subscale of the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) at a previous assessment of a larger group (N = 709, range PBI maternal care = 0-36, age range = 19-66 years; median 24 years). 85 participants gave blood for DNA methylation analyses (Sequenom(R) EpiTYPER, San Diego, CA) and cell count (Sysmex PocH-100i™, Kobe, Japan). Mixed model statistical analysis showed greater DNA methylation in the low versus high maternal care group, in the BDNF target sequence [Likelihood-Ratio (1) = 4.47; p = 0.035] and in one OXTR target sequence Likelihood-Ratio (1) = 4.33; p = 0.037], but not the second OXTR target sequence [Likelihood-Ratio (1) BDNF (estimate = -0.005, 95% CI = -0.025 to 0.015; p = 0.626) or OXTR DNA methylation (estimate = -0.015, 95% CI = -0.038 to 0.008; p = 0.192). Hence, low maternal care in childhood was associated with greater DNA methylation in an OXTR and a BDNF target sequence in blood cells in adulthood. Although the study has limitations (cross-sectional, a wide age range, only three target sequences in two genes studied, small effects, uncertain relevance of changes in blood cells to gene methylation in brain), the findings may indicate components of the epiphenotype from early life stress.

  16. The Williams syndrome prosociality geneGTF2Imediates oxytocin reactivity and social anxiety in a healthy population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Procyshyn, Tanya L; Spence, Jason; Read, Silven; Watson, Neil V; Crespi, Bernard J

    2017-04-01

    The neurohormone oxytocin plays a central role in human social behaviour and cognition, and oxytocin dysregulation may contribute to psychiatric disorders. However, genetic factors influencing individual variation in the oxytocinergic system remain poorly understood. We genotyped 169 healthy adults for a functional polymorphism in GTF2I ( general transcription factor II-I ), a gene associated with high prosociality and reduced social anxiety in Williams syndrome, a condition reported to involve high oxytocin levels and reactivity. Participants' salivary oxytocin levels were measured before and after watching a validated empathy-inducing video. Oxytocin reactivity, defined as pre- to post-video percentage change in salivary oxytocin, varied substantially and significantly between individuals with different GTF2I genotypes, with, additionally, a trend towards an interaction between genotype and sex. Individuals with more oxytocin-reactive genotypes also reported significantly lower social anxiety. These findings suggest a model whereby GTF2I has a continuum of effects on human sociality, from the extreme social phenotypes and oxytocin dysregulation associated with gene deletion in Williams syndrome, to individual differences in oxytocin reactivity and sociality associated with common polymorphisms in healthy populations. © 2017 The Author(s).

  17. The effects of oxytocin on social cognition in borderline personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Servan, A; Brunelin, J; Poulet, E

    2017-12-19

    Deficits in social cognition and interpersonal difficulties are key features in borderline personality disorder. Social cognition refers to the function of perceiving and adequately dealing with social signals, leading to the establishment and maintenance of healthy and positive social relationships. Evidence suggests that oxytocin (OT) may improve social cognition and human social behavior. Recently, several studies have highlighted the beneficial effects of oxytocin in several psychiatric conditions involving social cognition deficits such as schizophrenia, autism or social phobia. However, despite growing interest, the effects of oxytocin in patients with borderline personality disorder are far from being clearly demonstrated. The objective of this work was to review and discuss studies investigating the interest of oxytocin in alleviating social cognition deficits in patients with borderline personality disorder (recognition of emotion, trust and cooperation, affective and cognitive empathy, emotional expression and social problem-solving). A systematic review of the literature was conducted up to September 31, 2016 on the Pubmed, Science direct, Medline and Scopus databases using "borderline personality disorder" and "oxytocin" as keywords. To be included, studies were to include patients with borderline personality disorder; to investigate social cognition and to investigate the effect of oxytocin on social cognition in patients with TPB. The initial search yielded 52 articles. Among them, 11 studies were selected according to the PRISMA criteria. The effect of oxytocin on social cognition in patients with borderline personality disorder was mainly investigated in relation to recognition of emotions and trust and cooperation. We did not find any studies investigating the effect of oxytocin on affective and cognitive empathy, emotional expression or social problem-solving abilities. In patients with borderline personality disorder, oxytocin had a beneficial

  18. The genomic organization of the human GLP-1 receptor gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmen, A; Walkenbach, A; Füller, P; Lankat-Buttgereit, B; Göke, R; Göke, B

    1998-01-01

    The genomic organization of the human gene encoding the receptor for glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1 (7-37)/(7-36) amide) was analyzed to reveal the relationship to other G-protein-coupled receptors. The coding sequence of the GLP-1 receptor is interrupted by 12 introns. These introns are uniformly distributed within the open reading frame. The length of the introns varies between 6.6 kb and 100 bp, in contrast to the relative constant length of 100 bp of the exons. All of the exon/intron splice junctions characterized followed the consensus GT-AG rule. A comparison of the genomic structure with other related receptor genes indicates that the exon/intron organization is well-conserved among the VIP/ glucagon/secretin receptor family.

  19. The Neuropeptide Oxytocin Induces a Social Altruism Bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Nina; Scheele, Dirk; Gerhardt, Holger; Strang, Sabrina; Enax, Laura; Weber, Bernd; Maier, Wolfgang; Hurlemann, René

    2015-11-25

    Current psychological concepts of social and ecological responsibility emphasize the relevance of altruism, suggesting that more altruistic individuals are more likely to engage in sustainable behaviors. Emerging evidence indicates a central role of the neuropeptide oxytocin in promoting altruism. Whether this influence extends to ecological responsibility or is limited to the social domain remains unknown. In two independent experiments involving 172 human participants, we addressed this question by exposing subjects to a sustainability-related monetary donation task, with the option to support either socially or ecologically framed charities. We found that oxytocin induced a context-dependent change in altruistic behavior away from pro-environmental toward pro-social donations, while keeping constant the overall proportion of donated money. This pro-social bias transcended to the domain of sustainable consumption. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that altruistic priorities vary as a function of oxytocin system activity, which has implications for the promotion of pro-environmental attitudes and eco-friendly behaviors. Individual responses to ecological and social sustainability require a shift in personal priorities away from selfish to more altruistic behaviors. Emerging evidence indicates a central role of the hypothalamic peptide oxytocin in promoting altruism, but whether the influence of oxytocin benefits altruistic decision-making in the context of ecological and social sustainability is unclear. In two independent behavioral experiments involving 172 human subjects, we show that heightened oxytocin system activity induces a social altruism bias at the cost of ecological responsibility. Our results have fundamental implications for policy interventions and business strategies designed to sustain ecological resources by suggesting that a social framing may attract more individuals to engage in pro-environmental and eco-friendly behaviors. Copyright

  20. Effects of oxytocin on behavioral and ERP measures of recognition memory for own-race and other-race faces in women and men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzmann, Grit; Bird, Christopher W; Freeman, Megan; Curran, Tim

    2013-10-01

    Oxytocin has been shown to affect human social information processing including recognition memory for faces. Here we investigated the neural processes underlying the effect of oxytocin on memorizing own-race and other-race faces in men and women. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, between-subject study, participants received either oxytocin or placebo before studying own-race and other-race faces. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) during both the study and recognition phase to investigate neural correlates of oxytocin's effect on memory encoding, memory retrieval, and perception. Oxytocin increased the accuracy of familiarity judgments in the recognition test. Neural correlates for this effect were found in ERPs related to memory encoding and retrieval but not perception. In contrast to its facilitating effects on familiarity, oxytocin impaired recollection judgments, but in men only. Oxytocin did not differentially affect own-race and other-race faces. This study shows that oxytocin influences memory, but not perceptual processes, in a face recognition task and is the first to reveal sex differences in the effect of oxytocin on face memory. Contrary to recent findings in oxytocin and moral decision making, oxytocin did not preferentially improve memory for own-race faces. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Anxiety, cortisol, and attachment predict plasma oxytocin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tops, Mattie; Van Peer, Jacobien M.; Korf, Jakob; Wijers, Albertus A.; Tucker, Don M.

    Oxytocin and attachment seem to interact in suppressing subjective anxiety and physiological stress responses. In this study we investigated the relationships between individual differences in trait attachment scores, state and trait anxiety, plasma cortisol, and plasma oxytocin levels in healthy

  2. Antiaggressive activity of central oxytocin in male rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calcagnoli, F.; de Boer, S.F.; Althaus, M.; den Boer, J.A.; Koolhaas, J.M.

    2013-01-01

    A substantial body of research suggests that the neuropeptide oxytocin promotes social affiliative behaviors in a wide range of animals including humans. However, its antiaggressive action has not been unequivocally demonstrated in male laboratory rodents. Our primary goal was to examine the

  3. Crystal structure of NL63 respiratory coronavirus receptor-binding domain complexed with its human receptor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Kailang; Li, Weikai; Peng, Guiqing; Li, Fang; (Harvard-Med); (UMM-MED)

    2010-03-04

    NL63 coronavirus (NL63-CoV), a prevalent human respiratory virus, is the only group I coronavirus known to use angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as its receptor. Incidentally, ACE2 is also used by group II SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). We investigated how different groups of coronaviruses recognize the same receptor, whereas homologous group I coronaviruses recognize different receptors. We determined the crystal structure of NL63-CoV spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) complexed with human ACE2. NL63-CoV RBD has a novel {beta}-sandwich core structure consisting of 2 layers of {beta}-sheets, presenting 3 discontinuous receptor-binding motifs (RBMs) to bind ACE2. NL63-CoV and SARS-CoV have no structural homology in RBD cores or RBMs; yet the 2 viruses recognize common ACE2 regions, largely because of a 'virus-binding hotspot' on ACE2. Among group I coronaviruses, RBD cores are conserved but RBMs are variable, explaining how these viruses recognize different receptors. These results provide a structural basis for understanding viral evolution and virus-receptor interactions.

  4. Receptor-driven, multimodal mapping of the human amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kedo, Olga; Zilles, Karl; Palomero-Gallagher, Nicola; Schleicher, Axel; Mohlberg, Hartmut; Bludau, Sebastian; Amunts, Katrin

    2017-11-29

    The human amygdala consists of subdivisions contributing to various functions. However, principles of structural organization at the cellular and molecular level are not well understood. Thus, we re-analyzed the cytoarchitecture of the amygdala and generated cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps of ten subdivisions in stereotaxic space based on novel workflows and mapping tools. This parcellation was then used as a basis for analyzing the receptor expression for 15 receptor types. Receptor fingerprints, i.e., the characteristic balance between densities of all receptor types, were generated in each subdivision to comprehensively visualize differences and similarities in receptor architecture between the subdivisions. Fingerprints of the central and medial nuclei and the anterior amygdaloid area were highly similar. Fingerprints of the lateral, basolateral and basomedial nuclei were also similar to each other, while those of the remaining nuclei were distinct in shape. Similarities were further investigated by a hierarchical cluster analysis: a two-cluster solution subdivided the phylogenetically older part (central, medial nuclei, anterior amygdaloid area) from the remaining parts of the amygdala. A more fine-grained three-cluster solution replicated our previous parcellation including a laterobasal, superficial and centromedial group. Furthermore, it helped to better characterize the paralaminar nucleus with a molecular organization in-between the laterobasal and the superficial group. The multimodal cyto- and receptor-architectonic analysis of the human amygdala provides new insights into its microstructural organization, intersubject variability, localization in stereotaxic space and principles of receptor-based neurochemical differences.

  5. Prolonged Subcutaneous Administration of Oxytocin Accelerates Angiotensin II-Induced Hypertension and Renal Damage in Male Rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Phie

    Full Text Available Oxytocin and its receptor are synthesised in the heart and blood vessels but effects of chronic activation of this peripheral oxytocinergic system on cardiovascular function are not known. In acute studies, systemic administration of low dose oxytocin exerted a protective, preconditioning effect in experimental models of myocardial ischemia and infarction. In this study, we investigated the effects of chronic administration of low dose oxytocin following angiotensin II-induced hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy and renal damage. Angiotensin II (40 μg/Kg/h only, oxytocin only (20 or 100 ng/Kg/h, or angiotensin II combined with oxytocin (20 or 100 ng/Kg/h were infused subcutaneously in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats for 28 days. At day 7, oxytocin or angiotensin-II only did not change hemodynamic parameters, but animals that received a combination of oxytocin and angiotensin-II had significantly elevated systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressure compared to controls (P < 0.01. Hemodynamic changes were accompanied by significant left ventricular cardiac hypertrophy and renal damage at day 28 in animals treated with angiotensin II (P < 0.05 or both oxytocin and angiotensin II, compared to controls (P < 0.01. Prolonged oxytocin administration did not affect plasma concentrations of renin and atrial natriuretic peptide, but was associated with the activation of calcium-dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin, a canonical signalling mechanism in pressure overload-induced cardiovascular disease. These data demonstrate that oxytocin accelerated angiotensin-II induced hypertension and end-organ renal damage, suggesting caution should be exercised in the chronic use of oxytocin in individuals with hypertension.

  6. 21 CFR 522.1680 - Oxytocin injection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Oxytocin injection. 522.1680 Section 522.1680 Food... Oxytocin injection. (a) Specifications. Each milliliter (mL) of solution contains 20 USP units oxytocin. (b... Cows 0.5 to 1.0 10 to 20. Sows 0.25 to 1.0 5 to 20. (2) Indications for use. Oxytocin may be used as a...

  7. Oxytocin in cesarean-sections. What's new?

    OpenAIRE

    Yamaguchi, Eduardo Tsuyoshi; Siaulys, Mônica Maria; Torres, Marcelo Luis Abramides

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Oxytocin is the uterotonic agent of choice in the prevention and treatment of postpartum uterine atony. Nevertheless, there is no consensus on the optimal dose and rate for use in cesarean sections. The use of high bolus doses (e.g., 10 IU of oxytocin) can determine deleterious cardiovascular changes for the patient, especially in situations of hypovolemia or low cardiac reserve. Furthermore, high doses of oxytocin for prolonged periods may lead to desensitization of oxytocin recepto...

  8. Self-soothing behaviors with particular reference to oxytocin release induced by non-noxious sensory stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin eUvnäs-Moberg

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin, a hypothalamic nonapeptide, is linked to increased levels of social interaction, well-being and anti-stress effects. The effects of oxytocin that is released by sensory stimulation during different kinds of interactive behaviors are often underestimated or even forgotten. In fact, many of the positive effects caused during interaction, such a wellbeing, stress reduction and even health promotion, are indeed linked to oxytocin released in response to activation of various types of sensory nerves. Oxytocin is released in response to activation of sensory nerves during labor, breastfeeding and sexual activity. In addition oxytocin is released in response to low intensity stimulation of the skin, e.g. in response to touch, stroking, warm temperature etc . Consequently oxytocin is not only released during interaction between mothers and infants, but also during positive interaction between adult or between humans and animals. Finally oxytocin is also released in response to suckling and food intake. Oxytocin released in the brain in response to sensory stimulation as a consequence of these types of interactive behaviors, contributes to every day wellbeing and ability to handle stress. Food intake or sex may be used or even abused to achieve oxytocin-linked wellbeing and stress relief to compensate for lack of good relationships or when the levels of anxiety are high. The present review article will summarize the role played by oxytocin released by sensory (in particular somatosensory stimulation, during various kinds of interactive behaviors. Also the fact that the anti-stress effects of oxytocin are particularly strong when oxytocin is released in response to low intensity stimulation of the skin will be highlighted.

  9. Intranasal oxytocin increases positive communication and reduces cortisol levels during couple conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ditzen, Beate; Schaer, Marcel; Gabriel, Barbara; Bodenmann, Guy; Ehlert, Ulrike; Heinrichs, Markus

    2009-05-01

    In nonhuman mammals, the neuropeptide oxytocin has repeatedly been shown to increase social approach behavior and pair bonding. In particular, central nervous oxytocin reduces behavioral and neuroendocrine responses to social stress and is suggested to mediate the rewarding aspects of attachment in highly social species. However, to date there have been no studies investigating the effects of central oxytocin mechanisms on behavior and physiology in human couple interaction. In a double-blind placebo-controlled design, 47 heterosexual couples (total n = 94) received oxytocin or placebo intranasally before a standard instructed couple conflict discussion in the laboratory. The conflict session was videotaped and coded for verbal and nonverbal interaction behavior (e.g., eye contact, nonverbal positive behavior, and self-disclosure). Salivary cortisol was repeatedly measured during the experiment. Oxytocin significantly increased positive communication behavior in relation to negative behavior during the couple conflict discussion (F = 4.18, p = .047) and significantly reduced salivary cortisol levels after the conflict compared with placebo (F = 7.14, p = .011). These results are in line with animal studies indicating that central oxytocin facilitates approach and pair bonding behavior. Our findings imply an involvement of oxytocin in couple interaction and close relationships in humans.

  10. Oxytocin and vulnerable romantic relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grebe, Nicholas M; Kristoffersen, Andreas Aarseth; Grøntvedt, Trond Viggo; Emery Thompson, Melissa; Kennair, Leif Edward Ottesen; Gangestad, Steven W

    2017-04-01

    Oxytocin (OT) has been implicated in the formation and maintenance of various social relationships, including human romantic relationships. Competing models predict, alternatively, positive or negative associations between naturally-occurring OT levels and romantic relationship quality. Empirical tests of these models have been equivocal. We propose a novel hypothesis ('Identify and Invest') that frames OT as an allocator of psychological investment toward valued, vulnerable relationships, and test this proposal in two studies. In one sample of 75 couples, and a second sample of 148 romantically involved individuals, we assess facets of relationships predicting changes in OT across a thought-writing task regarding one's partner. In both studies, participants' OT change across the task corresponded positively with multiple dimensions of high relationship involvement. However, increases in participants' OT also corresponded to their partners reporting lower relationship involvement. OT increases, then, reflected discrepancies between assessments of self and partner relationship involvement. These findings are robust in a combined analysis of both studies, and do not significantly differ between samples. Collectively, our findings support the 'Identify and Invest' hypothesis in romantic couples, and we argue for its relevance across other types of social bonds. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor and glucocorticoid receptor interact to activate human metallothionein 2A

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sato, Shoko, E-mail: satosho@rs.tus.ac.jp [Laboratory of Nutrition, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 981-8555 (Japan); Shirakawa, Hitoshi, E-mail: shirakah@m.tohoku.ac.jp [Laboratory of Nutrition, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 981-8555 (Japan); Tomita, Shuhei, E-mail: tomita@med.tottori-u.ac.jp [Division of Molecular Pharmacology, Department of Pathophysiological and Therapeutic Science, Yonago 683-8503 (Japan); Tohkin, Masahiro, E-mail: tohkin@phar.nagoya-cu.ac.jp [Department of Medical Safety Science, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science, Nagoya City University, Nagoya 267-8603 (Japan); Gonzalez, Frank J., E-mail: gonzalef@mail.nih.gov [Laboratory of Metabolism, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 (United States); Komai, Michio, E-mail: mkomai@m.tohoku.ac.jp [Laboratory of Nutrition, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 981-8555 (Japan)

    2013-11-15

    Although the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) play essential roles in mammalian development, stress responses, and other physiological events, crosstalk between these receptors has been the subject of much debate. Metallothioneins are classic glucocorticoid-inducible genes that were reported to increase upon treatment with AHR agonists in rodent tissues and cultured human cells. In this study, the mechanism of human metallothionein 2A (MT2A) gene transcription activation by AHR was investigated. Cotreatment with 3-methylcholanthrene and dexamethasone, agonists of AHR and GR respectively, synergistically increased MT2A mRNA levels in HepG2 cells. MT2A induction was suppressed by RNA interference against AHR or GR. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments revealed a physical interaction between AHR and GR proteins. Moreover, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that AHR was recruited to the glucocorticoid response element in the MT2A promoter. Thus, we provide a novel mechanism whereby AHR modulates expression of human MT2A via the glucocorticoid response element and protein–protein interactions with GR. - Highlights: • Aryl hydrocarbon receptor forms a complex with glucocorticoid receptor in cells. • Human metallothionein gene is regulated by the AHR and GR interaction. • AHR–GR complex binds to glucocorticoid response element in metallothionein gene. • We demonstrated a novel transcriptional mechanism via AHR and GR interaction.

  12. Monoclonal Antibodies to the Human Insulin Receptor that Activate Glucose Transport but not Insulin Receptor Kinase Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsayeth, John R.; Caro, Jose F.; Sinha, Madhur K.; Maddux, Betty A.; Goldfine, Ira D.

    1987-05-01

    Three mouse monoclonal antibodies were produced that reacted with the α subunit of the human insulin receptor. All three both immunoprecipitated 125I-labeled insulin receptors from IM-9 lymphocytes and competitively inhibited 125I-labeled insulin binding to its receptor. Unlike insulin, the antibodies failed to stimulate receptor autophosphorylation in both intact IM-9 lymphocytes and purified human placental insulin receptors. Moreover, unlike insulin, the antibodies failed to stimulate receptor-mediated phosphorylation of exogenous substrates. However, like insulin, two of the three antibodies stimulated glucose transport in isolated human adipocytes. One antibody, on a molar basis, was as potent as insulin. These studies indicate, therefore, that monoclonal antibodies to the insulin receptor can mimic a major function of insulin without activating receptor kinase activity. They also raise the possibility that certain actions of insulin such as stimulation of glucose transport may not require the activation of receptor kinase activity.

  13. Cloning and sequence analysis of the human brain beta-adrenergic receptor. Evolutionary relationship to rodent and avian beta-receptors and porcine muscarinic receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, F Z; Lentes, K U; Gocayne, J; Fitzgerald, M; Robinson, D; Kerlavage, A R; Fraser, C M; Venter, J C

    1987-01-26

    Two cDNA clones, lambda-CLFV-108 and lambda-CLFV-119, encoding for the beta-adrenergic receptor, have been isolated from a human brain stem cDNA library. One human genomic clone, LCV-517 (20 kb), was characterized by restriction mapping and partial sequencing. The human brain beta-receptor consists of 413 amino acids with a calculated Mr of 46480. The gene contains three potential glucocorticoid receptor-binding sites. The beta-receptor expressed in human brain was homology with rodent (88%) and avian (52%) beta-receptors and with porcine muscarinic cholinergic receptors (31%), supporting our proposal [(1984) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 81, 272 276] that adrenergic and muscarinic cholinergic receptors are structurally related. This represents the first cloning of a neurotransmitter receptor gene from human brain.

  14. Developmental changes in social attention and oxytocin levels in infants and children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishizato, Minaho; Fujisawa, Takashi X; Kosaka, Hirotaka; Tomoda, Akemi

    2017-05-31

    Oxytocin (OT) signalling represents one of the most critical systems involved in human social behaviour. Although several studies have examined the relationship between social functioning and peripheral OT levels, the association between OT and the development of social attention has not been well studied. Therefore, we investigated the developmental relationship between gaze fixation for social cues and OT levels during young childhood. We examined visual attention using an eye tracking system in infants and children (5-90 months of age) and measured the concentration of OT in saliva samples. We observed a negative association between age and both attention toward social cues and salivary OT levels, and a positive association between age and attention for non-social cues. We also observed that salivary OT levels were modulated by polymorphisms in oxytocin receptor (OXTR) rs53576. Our results suggest that there is an age-dependent association between visual attention for social cues and OT levels in infants and children, and that the development of visual attention to the eyes as social cues is associated with both OXTR polymorphisms and OT levels. Such findings indicate that OT and OXTR status may provide insight into the atypical development of social attention in infants and young children.

  15. Role of dopamine D2 receptors in human reinforcement learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenegger, Christoph; Naef, Michael; Linssen, Anke; Clark, Luke; Gandamaneni, Praveen K; Müller, Ulrich; Robbins, Trevor W

    2014-09-01

    Influential neurocomputational models emphasize dopamine (DA) as an electrophysiological and neurochemical correlate of reinforcement learning. However, evidence of a specific causal role of DA receptors in learning has been less forthcoming, especially in humans. Here we combine, in a between-subjects design, administration of a high dose of the selective DA D2/3-receptor antagonist sulpiride with genetic analysis of the DA D2 receptor in a behavioral study of reinforcement learning in a sample of 78 healthy male volunteers. In contrast to predictions of prevailing models emphasizing DA's pivotal role in learning via prediction errors, we found that sulpiride did not disrupt learning, but rather induced profound impairments in choice performance. The disruption was selective for stimuli indicating reward, whereas loss avoidance performance was unaffected. Effects were driven by volunteers with higher serum levels of the drug, and in those with genetically determined lower density of striatal DA D2 receptors. This is the clearest demonstration to date for a causal modulatory role of the DA D2 receptor in choice performance that might be distinct from learning. Our findings challenge current reward prediction error models of reinforcement learning, and suggest that classical animal models emphasizing a role of postsynaptic DA D2 receptors in motivational aspects of reinforcement learning may apply to humans as well.

  16. Role of formic receptors in soluble urokinase receptor-induced human vascular smooth muscle migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duru, Enrico A; Fu, Yuyang; Davies, Mark G

    2015-05-15

    Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration in response to urokinase is dependent on binding of the urokinase molecule to the urokinase plasminogen receptor (uPAR) and cleavage of the receptor. The aim of this study was to examine the role of the soluble uPAR (suPAR) in VSMC migration. Human VSMCs were cultured in vitro. Linear wound and Boyden microchemotaxis assays of migration were performed in the presence of suPAR. Inhibitors to G-protein signaling and kinase activation were used to study these pathways. Assays were performed for mitogen-activated protein kinase and epidermal growth factor receptor activation. suPAR induced concentration-dependent migration of VSMC, which was G protein-dependent and was blocked by Gαi and Gβγ inhibitors. Removal of the full uPAR molecule by incubation of the cells with a phospholipase did not interfere with this response. suPAR induced ERK1/2, p38(MAPK), and c-Jun N-terminal kinase [JNK] activation in a Gαi/Gβγ-dependent manner, and interruption of these signaling pathways prevented suPAR-mediated migration. suPAR activity was independent of plasmin activity. suPAR did not activate epidermal growth factor receptor. Interruption of the low affinity N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe receptor (FPRL1) but not high affinity N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe receptor (FPR) prevented cell migration and activation in response to suPAR. suPAR increased matrix metalloproteinase-2 expression and activity, and this was dependent on the low affinity N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe receptor (FPRL1) and ERK1/2. suPAR induces human smooth muscle cell activation and migration independent of the full uPAR through activation of the G protein-coupled receptor FPRL1, which is not linked to the plasminogen activation cascade. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. P2Y Receptors Sensitize Mouse and Human Colonic Nociceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hockley, James R F; Tranter, Michael M; McGuire, Cian; Boundouki, George; Cibert-Goton, Vincent; Thaha, Mohamed A; Blackshaw, L Ashley; Michael, Gregory J; Baker, Mark D; Knowles, Charles H; Winchester, Wendy J; Bulmer, David C

    2016-02-24

    Activation of visceral nociceptors by inflammatory mediators contributes to visceral hypersensitivity and abdominal pain associated with many gastrointestinal disorders. Purine and pyrimidine nucleotides (e.g., ATP and UTP) are strongly implicated in this process following their release from epithelial cells during mechanical stimulation of the gut, and from immune cells during inflammation. Actions of ATP are mediated through both ionotropic P2X receptors and metabotropic P2Y receptors. P2X receptor activation causes excitation of visceral afferents; however, the impact of P2Y receptor activation on visceral afferents innervating the gut is unclear. Here we investigate the effects of stimulating P2Y receptors in isolated mouse colonic sensory neurons, and visceral nociceptor fibers in mouse and human nerve-gut preparations. Additionally, we investigate the role of Nav1.9 in mediating murine responses. The application of UTP (P2Y2 and P2Y4 agonist) sensitized colonic sensory neurons by increasing action potential firing to current injection and depolarizing the membrane potential. The application of ADP (P2Y1, P2Y12, and P2Y13 agonist) also increased action potential firing, an effect blocked by the selective P2Y1 receptor antagonist MRS2500. UTP or ADP stimulated afferents, including mouse and human visceral nociceptors, in nerve-gut preparations. P2Y1 and P2Y2 transcripts were detected in 80% and 56% of retrogradely labeled colonic neurons, respectively. Nav1.9 transcripts colocalized in 86% of P2Y1-positive and 100% of P2Y2-positive colonic neurons, consistent with reduced afferent fiber responses to UTP and ADP in Na(v)1.9(-/-) mice. These data demonstrate that P2Y receptor activation stimulates mouse and human visceral nociceptors, highlighting P2Y-dependent mechanisms in the generation of visceral pain during gastrointestinal disease. Copyright © 2016 Hockley et al.

  18. Oxytocin Improves β-Cell Responsivity and Glucose Tolerance in Healthy Men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klement, Johanna; Ott, Volker; Rapp, Kristina; Brede, Swantje; Piccinini, Francesca; Cobelli, Claudio; Lehnert, Hendrik; Hallschmid, Manfred

    2017-02-01

    In addition to its pivotal role in psychosocial behavior, the hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin contributes to metabolic control by suppressing eating behavior. Its involvement in glucose homeostasis is less clear, although pilot experiments suggest that oxytocin improves glucose homeostasis. We assessed the effect of intranasal oxytocin (24 IU) administered to 29 healthy, fasted male subjects on glucose homeostasis measured by means of an oral glucose tolerance test. Parameters of glucose metabolism were analyzed according to the oral minimal model. Oxytocin attenuated the peak excursion of plasma glucose and augmented the early increases in insulin and C-peptide concentrations in response to the glucose challenge, while slightly blunting insulin and C-peptide peaks. Oral minimal model analyses revealed that oxytocin compared with placebo induced a pronounced increase in β-cell responsivity (PHItotal) that was largely due to an enhanced dynamic response (PHId), and a more than twofold improvement in glucose tolerance (disposition index). Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, glucagon, and nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations were not or were only marginally affected. These results indicate that oxytocin plays a significant role in the acute regulation of glucose metabolism in healthy humans and render the oxytocin system a potential target of antidiabetic treatment. © 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.

  19. Multiple human prolactin receptors and signaling

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    2010-02-15

    Feb 15, 2010 ... native splicing within exons, intron retention, alternative transcription start and termination sites, deletion ... By analysis of human PAC library, two alter- native promoters, a generic promoter hPIII common to ..... Goffin V, Bernichtein S, Touraine P, Kelly PA (2005). Development and potential clinical uses of ...

  20. Oxytocin is a cardiovascular hormone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gutkowska J.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin (OT, a nonapeptide, was the first hormone to have its biological activities established and chemical structure determined. It was believed that OT is released from hypothalamic nerve terminals of the posterior hypophysis into the circulation where it stimulates uterine contractions during parturition, and milk ejection during lactation. However, equivalent concentrations of OT were found in the male hypophysis, and similar stimuli of OT release were determined for both sexes, suggesting other physiological functions. Indeed, recent studies indicate that OT is involved in cognition, tolerance, adaptation and complex sexual and maternal behaviour, as well as in the regulation of cardiovascular functions. It has long been known that OT induces natriuresis and causes a fall in mean arterial pressure, both after acute and chronic treatment, but the mechanism was not clear. The discovery of the natriuretic family shed new light on this matter. Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP, a potent natriuretic and vasorelaxant hormone, originally isolated from rat atria, has been found at other sites, including the brain. Blood volume expansion causes ANP release that is believed to be important in the induction of natriuresis and diuresis, which in turn act to reduce the increase in blood volume. Neurohypophysectomy totally abolishes the ANP response to volume expansion. This indicates that one of the major hypophyseal peptides is responsible for ANP release. The role of ANP in OT-induced natriuresis was evaluated, and we hypothesized that the cardio-renal effects of OT are mediated by the release of ANP from the heart. To support this hypothesis, we have demonstrated the presence and synthesis of OT receptors in all heart compartments and the vasculature. The functionality of these receptors has been established by the ability of OT to induce ANP release from perfused heart or atrial slices. Furthermore, we have shown that the heart and large vessels

  1. Oxytocin and Social Relationships: From Attachment to Bond Disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Oliver J; Young, Larry J

    2017-08-16

    Social relationships throughout life are vital for well-being and physical and mental health. A significant amount of research in animal models as well as in humans suggests that oxytocin (OT) plays an important role in the development of the capacity to form social bonds, the mediation of the positive aspects of early-life nurturing on adult bonding capacity, and the maintenance of social bonding. Here, we focus on the extensive research on a socially monogamous rodent model organism, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). OT facilitates mating-induced pair bonds in adults through interaction with the mesolimbic dopamine system. Variation in striatal OT receptor density predicts resilience and susceptibility to neonatal social neglect in female prairie voles. Finally, in adults, loss of a partner results in multiple disruptions in OT signaling, including decreased OT release in the striatum, which is caused by an activation of the brain corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) system. The dramatic behavioral consequence of partner loss is increased depressive-like behavior reminiscent of bereavement. Importantly, infusions of OT into the striatum of adults prevents the onset of depressive-like behavior following partner loss, and evoking endogenous OT release using melanocortin agonists during neonatal social isolation rescues impairments in social bonding in adulthood. This work has important translational implications relevant to the disruptions of social bonds in childhood and in adults.

  2. Oxytocin in General Anxiety and Social Fear: A Translational Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Inga D; Slattery, David A

    2016-02-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) has been revealed as a profound anxiolytic and antistress factor of the brain, besides its many prosocial and reproductive effects. Therefore, there is substantial scientific and medical interest in its potential therapeutic use for the treatment of psychopathologies associated with anxiety, fear, and social dysfunctions, such as generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder, as well as autism and schizophrenia, among others. Focusing on preclinical studies, we review the existing evidence for the regulatory capacity of OXT to fine-tune general and social anxiety-related behaviors, as well as cued and social fear conditioning from a translational perspective. The available evidence from animal and human studies substantiates the hypothesis of an imbalance of the endogenous brain OXT system in the etiology of anxiety disorders, particularly those with a social component such as social anxiety disorder. In addition, such an imbalance of the OXT system is also likely to be the consequence of chronic OXT treatment resulting in a dose-dependent reduction in OXT receptor availability and increased anxiety. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Oxytocin has therapeutic effects on cancer, a hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imanieh, Mohammad Hossein; Bagheri, Fereshte; Alizadeh, Ali Mohammad; Ashkani-Esfahani, Soheil

    2014-10-15

    Oxytocin (OT) is the first peptide hormone structurally assessed and chemically synthesized in biologically active form. This hormone acts as an important factor in a human reproductive system particularly during pregnancy and lactation in women. So far, different therapeutic roles for OT have been identified as a spectrum from central and peripheral actions on male and female reproductive systems, circulatory system, musculoskeletal system, etc. Some in vitro and in vivo studies also revealed that OT is responsible for bivariate biological functions involved in cancer as following. By activating OT receptor in tumoral cells, OT enacts as a growth regulator, whether activator or inhibitor. Regarding the increase of OT in some conditions such as breastfeeding, exercise, and multiparity, we can relate the effect of these conditions on cancer with OT effects. Based on this hypothesis, we present a review on the effects of this neuropeptide on various types of cancer and also the influence of these conditions on the same cancer. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Designing exons for human olfactory receptor gene subfamilies ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 35; Issue 3. Designing exons for human olfactory receptor gene subfamilies using a mathematical paradigm. Sk Sarif Hassan Pabitra Pal Choudhury Amita Pal R L Brahmachary Arunava Goswami. Articles Volume 35 Issue 3 September 2010 pp 389-393 ...

  5. Multiple human prolactin receptors and signaling | Ding | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Human prolactin receptor (PRLR) transcripts and their protein products exhibit heterogenic structures and functions. This multiplicity constitutes a gene regulatory system. Short PRLR might modulate longer PRLR structures and signaling. Here we overviewed 10 forms (including two putative forms) of PRLR structures, ...

  6. Estrogen Receptor Mutants/Variants in Human Breast Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-12-01

    Recherche Louis- Charles Simard, Montreal, Canada. Four nor- mal human breast tissues from reduction mammoplasties of pre- menopausal women were obtained...to hormone resistance. Cancer Res 1990; 50: 6208-17. 22. Karnik PS, Kulkarni S, Lui XP, Budd GT, Bukowski RM. Estrogen receptor mutations in

  7. Membrane Estrogen and HER-2 Receptors in Human Breast Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-07-01

    1986). Expression of the epider- mal growth factor receptors on human cervical , ovarian and vulvar carcinomas. Cancer Res.,46: 285-293. 9.) Coussens...neurone signaling; immune and inflammatory reactions; apoptosis Aldosterone Promotion of reabsorption of sodium and excretion of potassium in kidney

  8. GLP-1 receptor localization in monkey and human tissue

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pyke, Charles; Heller, R Scott; Kirk, Rikke Kaae

    2014-01-01

    and increase heart rate. Using a new monoclonal antibody for immunohistochemistry, we detected GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) in important target organs in humans and monkeys. In the pancreas, GLP-1R was predominantly localized in β-cells with a markedly weaker expression in acinar cells. Pancreatic ductal epithelial...

  9. Expression of histamine receptors in the human endolymphatic sac

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, M Nue; Kirkeby, S; Vikeså, J.

    2016-01-01

    in 2012. This leaves betahistine (Betaserc) as the only drug for potential prevention of the incapacitating attacks of dizziness, tinnitus and hearing loss. However, the histamine receptors targeted by betahistine have never been demonstrated in the human ES. Accordingly, this study aims to investigate...

  10. Expression of epidermal growth factor receptors in human endometrial carcinoma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyholm, H C; Nielsen, Anette Lynge; Ottesen, B

    1993-01-01

    Little data exist on the expression of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGF-Rs) in human endometrial cancer. EGF-R status was studied in 65 patients with endometrial carcinomas and in 26 women with nonmalignant postmenopausal endometria, either inactive/atrophic endometrium or adenomatous...

  11. Syncytin-1 and its receptor is present in human gametes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjerregaard, B; Lemmen, J G; Petersen, M R

    2014-01-01

    MAIN PURPOSE AND RESEARCH QUESTION: To determine whether the true fusogen Syncytin-1 and its receptor (ASCT-2) is present in human gametes using qRT-PCR, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence. METHODS: Donated oocytes and spermatozoa, originating from a fertility center in tertiary referral unive...

  12. Crystal Structure of the Human Laminin Receptor Precursor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jamieson,K.; Wu, J.; Hubbard, S.; Meruelo, D.

    2008-01-01

    The human laminin receptor (LamR) interacts with many ligands, including laminin, prions, Sindbis virus, and the polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), and has been implicated in a number of diseases. LamR is overexpressed on tumor cells, and targeting LamR elicits anti-cancer effects. Here, we report the crystal structure of human LamR, which provides insights into its function and should facilitate the design of novel therapeutics targeting LamR.

  13. Oxytocin and Major Depressive Disorder: Experimental and Clinical Evidence for Links to Aetiology and Possible Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inga D. Neumann

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Affective disorders represent the most common psychiatric diseases, with substantial co-morbidity existing between major depressive disorders (MDD and anxiety disorders. The lack of truly novel acting compounds has led to non-monoaminergic based research and hypotheses in recent years. The large number of brain neuropeptides, characterized by discrete synthesis sites and multiple receptors, represent likely research candidates for novel therapeutic targets. The present review summarises the available preclinical and human evidence regarding the neuropeptide, oxytocin, and its implications in the aetiology and treatment of MDD. While the evidence is not conclusive at present additional studies are warranted to determine whether OXT may be of therapeutic benefit in subsets of MDD patients such as those with comorbid anxiety symptoms and low levels of social attachment.

  14. Linking Functional Domains of the Human Insulin Receptor with the Bacterial Aspartate Receptor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Leland; Morgan, David O.; Koshland, Daniel E.; Clauser, Eric; Moe, Gregory R.; Bollag, Gideon; Roth, Richard A.; Rutter, William J.

    1986-11-01

    A hybrid receptor has been constructed that is composed of the extracellular domain of the human insulin receptor fused to the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of the bacterial aspartate chemoreceptor. This hybrid protein can be expressed in rodent (CHO) cells and displays several functional features comparable to wild-type insulin receptor. It is localized to the cell surface, binds insulin with high affinity, forms oligomers, and is recognized by conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies. Although most of the expressed protein accumulates as a 180-kDa proreceptor, some processed 135-kDa receptor can be detected on the cell surface by covalent cross-linking. Expression of the hybrid receptor inhibits the insulin-activated uptake of 2-deoxyglucose by CHO cells. Thus, this hybrid is partially functional and can be processed; however, it is incapable of native transmembrane signaling. The results indicate that the intact domains of different types of receptors can retain some of the native features in a hybrid molecule but specific requirements will need to be satisfied for transmembrane signaling.

  15. Sex hormone receptors are present in the human suprachiasmatic nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruijver, Frank P M; Swaab, Dick F

    2002-05-01

    The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is the clock of the brain that orchestrates circadian and circannual biological rhythms, such as the rhythms of hormones, body temperature, sleep and mood. These rhythms are frequently disturbed in menopause and even more so in dementia and can be restored in postmenopausal women by sex hormone replacement therapy (SHRT). Although it seems clear, both from clinical and experimental studies, that sex hormones influence circadian rhythms, it is not known whether this is by a direct or an indirect effect on the SCN. Therefore, using immunocytochemistry in the present study, we investigated whether the human SCN expresses sex hormone receptors in 5 premenopausal women and 5 young men. SCN neurons appeared to contain estrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha), estrogen receptor-beta (ERbeta) and progesterone receptors. Median ratings of ER immunoreactivity per individual and per gender group revealed a statistically significantly stronger nuclear ERalpha expression pattern in female SCN neurons (p sexual dimorphic tendency was observed for nuclear ERbeta (p > 0.1) and progesterone receptors (p > 0.7). These data seem to support previously reported functional and structural SCN differences in relation to sex and sexual orientation and indicate for the first time that estrogen and progesterone may act directly on neurons of the human biological clock. In addition, the present findings provide a potential neuroendocrine mechanism by which SHRT can act to improve or restore SCN-related rhythm disturbances, such as body temperature, sleep and mood. Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

  16. Oxytocin secretion is associated with severity of disordered eating psychopathology and insular cortex hypoactivation in anorexia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Elizabeth A; Holsen, Laura M; Santin, McKale; Meenaghan, Erinne; Eddy, Kamryn T; Becker, Anne E; Herzog, David B; Goldstein, Jill M; Klibanski, Anne

    2012-10-01

    Animal data suggest that oxytocin is a satiety hormone. We have demonstrated that anorexia nervosa (anorexia), a disorder characterized by food restriction, low weight, and hypoleptinemia, is associated with decreased nocturnal oxytocin secretion. We have also reported functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) hypoactivation in anorexia in brain regions involved in food motivation. The relationships between oxytocin, food-motivation neurocircuitry, and disordered eating psychopathology have not been investigated in humans. The objective of the study was to determine whether the oxytocin response to feeding in anorexia differs from healthy women and to establish the relationship between oxytocin secretion and disordered eating psychopathology and food-motivation neurocircuitry. This was a cross-sectional study. The study was conducted at a clinical research center. Participants included 35 women: 13 anorexia (AN), nine weight-recovered anorexia (ANWR), and 13 healthy controls (HC). Peripheral oxytocin and leptin levels were measured fasting and 30, 60, and 120 min after a standardized mixed meal. The Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire was used to assess disordered eating psychopathology. fMRI was performed during visual processing of food and nonfood stimuli to measure brain activation before and after the meal. Mean oxytocin levels were higher in AN than HC at 60 and 120 min and lower in ANWR than HC at 0, 30, and 120 min and AN at all time points. Mean oxytocin area under the curve (AUC) was highest in AN, intermediate in HC, and lowest in ANWR. Mean leptin levels at all time points and AUC were lower in AN than HC and ANWR. Oxytocin AUC was associated with leptin AUC in ANWR and HC but not in AN. Oxytocin AUC was associated with the severity of disordered eating psychopathology in AN and ANWR, independent of leptin secretion, and was associated with between-group variance in fMRI activation in food motivation brain regions, including the hypothalamus

  17. Neurotrophin receptors expression and JNK pathway activation in human astrocytomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maraziotis Theodore

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurotrophins are growth factors that regulate cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis in the nervous system. Their diverse actions are mediated through two different transmembrane – receptor signaling systems: Trk receptor tyrosine kinases (TrkA, TrkB, TrkC and p75NTR neurotrophin receptor. Trk receptors promote cell survival and differentiation while p75NTR induces, in most cases, the activity of JNK-p53-Bax apoptosis pathway or suppresses intracellular survival signaling cascades. Robust Trk activation blocks p75NTR -induced apoptosis by suppressing the JNK-p53-Bax pathway. The aim of this exploratory study was to investigate the expression levels of neurotrophin receptors, Trks and p75NTR, and the activation of JNK pathway in human astrocytomas and in adjacent non-neoplastic brain tissue. Methods Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded serial sections from 33 supratentorial astrocytomas (5 diffuse fibrillary astrocytomas, WHO grade II; 6 anaplastic astrocytomas, WHO grade III; 22 glioblastomas multiforme, WHO grade IV were immunostained following microwave pretreatment. Polyclonal antibodies against TrkA, TrkB, TrkC and monoclonal antibodies against p75NTR and phosphorylated forms of JNK (pJNK and c-Jun (pc-Jun were used. The labeling index (LI, defined as the percentage of positive (labeled cells out of the total number of tumor cells counted, was determined. Results Moderate to strong, granular cytoplasmic immunoreactivity for TrkA, TrkB and TrkC receptors was detected in greater than or equal to 10% of tumor cells in the majority of tumors independently of grade; on the contrary, p75NTR receptor expression was found in a small percentage of tumor cells (~1% in some tumors. The endothelium of tumor capillaries showed conspicuous immunoreactivity for TrkB receptor. Trk immunoreactivity seemed to be localized in some neurons and astrocytes in non-neoplastic tissue. Phosphorylated forms of JNK (pJNK and c-Jun (pc-Jun were

  18. Effects of oxytocin on behavioral and ERP measures of recognition memory for own-race and other-race faces in women and men

    OpenAIRE

    Herzmann, Grit; Bird, Christopher W.; Freeman, Megan; Curran, Tim

    2013-01-01

    Oxytocin has been shown to affect human social information processing including recognition memory for faces. Here we investigated the neural processes underlying the effect of oxytocin on memorizing own-race and other-race faces in men and women. In a placebo-controlled, doubleblind, between-subject study, participants received either oxytocin or placebo before studying own-race and other-race faces. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) during both the study and recognition phase to i...

  19. Structure and function of the human megalin receptor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dagil, Robert

    Megalin is an endocytic lipoprotein receptor expressed widely throughout the body, ranging from the proximal tubule in the kidneys to the cochlea in the inner ear. Megalin is known to bind over 50 different ligands and is involved in protein clearance of the renal ultrafiltrate via endocytosis...... was studied using NMR spectroscopy. The structure of the tenth CR domain from the human megalin receptor was solved using NMR spectroscopy and a HADDOCK model of the complex between this domain and gentamicin was determined. The structural complex showed that a Trp residue and three Asp residues from megalin...

  20. Mapping the calcitonin receptor in human brain stem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bower, Rebekah L; Eftekhari, Sajedeh; Waldvogel, Henry J

    2016-01-01

    understanding of these hormone systems by mapping CTR expression in the human brain stem, specifically the medulla oblongata. Widespread CTR-like immunoreactivity was observed throughout the medulla. Dense CTR staining was noted in several discrete nuclei, including the nucleus of the solitary tract...... receptors (AMY) are a heterodimer formed by the coexpression of CTR with receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs). CTR with RAMP1 responds potently to both amylin and CGRP. The brain stem is a major site of action for circulating amylin and is a rich site of CGRP binding. This study aimed to enhance our...

  1. Transient Suppression of TGFβ Receptor Signaling Facilitates Human Islet Transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xiangwei; Fischbach, Shane; Song, Zewen; Gaffar, Iljana; Zimmerman, Ray; Wiersch, John; Prasadan, Krishna; Shiota, Chiyo; Guo, Ping; Ramachandran, Sabarinathan; Witkowski, Piotr; Gittes, George K

    2016-04-01

    Although islet transplantation is an effective treatment for severe diabetes, its broad application is greatly limited due to a shortage of donor islets. Suppression of TGFβ receptor signaling in β-cells has been shown to increase β-cell proliferation in mice, but has not been rigorously examined in humans. Here, treatment of human islets with a TGFβ receptor I inhibitor, SB-431542 (SB), significantly improved C-peptide secretion by β-cells, and significantly increased β-cell number by increasing β-cell proliferation. In addition, SB increased cell-cycle activators and decreased cell-cycle suppressors in human β-cells. Transplantation of SB-treated human islets into diabetic immune-deficient mice resulted in significant improvement in blood glucose control, significantly higher serum and graft insulin content, and significantly greater increases in β-cell proliferation in the graft, compared with controls. Thus, our data suggest that transient suppression of TGFβ receptor signaling may improve the outcome of human islet transplantation, seemingly through increasing β-cell number and function.

  2. Neuropeptide S Activates Paraventricular Oxytocin Neurons to Induce Anxiolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grund, Thomas; Goyon, Stephanie; Li, Yuting; Eliava, Marina; Liu, Haikun; Charlet, Alexandre; Grinevich, Valery; Neumann, Inga D

    2017-12-13

    Neuropeptides, such as neuropeptide S (NPS) and oxytocin (OXT), represent potential options for the treatment of anxiety disorders due to their potent anxiolytic profile. In this study, we aimed to reveal the mechanisms underlying the behavioral action of NPS, and present a chain of evidence that the effects of NPS within the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) are mediated via actions on local OXT neurons in male Wistar rats. First, retrograde studies identified NPS fibers originating in the brainstem locus coeruleus, and projecting to the PVN. FACS identified prominent NPS receptor expression in PVN-OXT neurons. Using genetically encoded calcium indicators, we further demonstrated that NPS reliably induces a transient increase in intracellular Ca 2+ concentration in a subpopulation of OXT neurons, an effect mediated by NPS receptor. In addition, intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) NPS evoked a significant somatodendritic release of OXT within the PVN as assessed by microdialysis in combination with a highly sensitive radioimmunoassay. Finally, we could show that the anxiolytic effect of NPS seen after i.c.v. or intra-PVN infusion requires responsive OXT neurons of the PVN and locally released OXT. Thus, pharmacological blockade of OXT receptors as well as chemogenetic silencing of OXT neurons within the PVN prevented the effect of synthetic NPS. In conclusion, our results indicate a significant role of the OXT system in mediating the effects of NPS on anxiety, and fill an important gap in our understanding of brain neuropeptide interactions in the context of regulation of emotional behavior within the hypothalamus. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Given the rising scientific interest in neuropeptide research in the context of emotional and stress-related behaviors, our findings demonstrate a novel intrahypothalamic mechanism involving paraventricular oxytocin neurons that express the neuropeptide S receptor. These neurons respond with transient Ca 2+ increase and

  3. Comprehensive Analysis of Mouse Bitter Taste Receptors Reveals Different Molecular Receptive Ranges for Orthologous Receptors in Mice and Humans*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lossow, Kristina; Hübner, Sandra; Roudnitzky, Natacha; Slack, Jay P.; Pollastro, Federica; Behrens, Maik; Meyerhof, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    One key to animal survival is the detection and avoidance of potentially harmful compounds by their bitter taste. Variable numbers of taste 2 receptor genes expressed in the gustatory end organs enable bony vertebrates (Euteleostomi) to recognize numerous bitter chemicals. It is believed that the receptive ranges of bitter taste receptor repertoires match the profiles of bitter chemicals that the species encounter in their diets. Human and mouse genomes contain pairs of orthologous bitter receptor genes that have been conserved throughout evolution. Moreover, expansions in both lineages generated species-specific sets of bitter taste receptor genes. It is assumed that the orthologous bitter taste receptor genes mediate the recognition of bitter toxins relevant for both species, whereas the lineage-specific receptors enable the detection of substances differently encountered by mice and humans. By challenging 34 mouse bitter taste receptors with 128 prototypical bitter substances in a heterologous expression system, we identified cognate compounds for 21 receptors, 19 of which were previously orphan receptors. We have demonstrated that mouse taste 2 receptors, like their human counterparts, vary greatly in their breadth of tuning, ranging from very broadly to extremely narrowly tuned receptors. However, when compared with humans, mice possess fewer broadly tuned receptors and an elevated number of narrowly tuned receptors, supporting the idea that a large receptor repertoire is the basis for the evolution of specialized receptors. Moreover, we have demonstrated that sequence-orthologous bitter taste receptors have distinct agonist profiles. Species-specific gene expansions have enabled further diversification of bitter substance recognition spectra. PMID:27226572

  4. Emergent synchronous bursting of oxytocin neuronal network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrico Rossoni

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available When young suckle, they are rewarded intermittently with a let-down of milk that results from reflex secretion of the hormone oxytocin; without oxytocin, newly born young will die unless they are fostered. Oxytocin is made by magnocellular hypothalamic neurons, and is secreted from their nerve endings in the pituitary in response to action potentials (spikes that are generated in the cell bodies and which are propagated down their axons to the nerve endings. Normally, oxytocin cells discharge asynchronously at 1-3 spikes/s, but during suckling, every 5 min or so, each discharges a brief, intense burst of spikes that release a pulse of oxytocin into the circulation. This reflex was the first, and is perhaps the best, example of a physiological role for peptide-mediated communication within the brain: it is coordinated by the release of oxytocin from the dendrites of oxytocin cells; it can be facilitated by injection of tiny amounts of oxytocin into the hypothalamus, and it can be blocked by injection of tiny amounts of oxytocin antagonist. Here we show how synchronized bursting can arise in a neuronal network model that incorporates basic observations of the physiology of oxytocin cells. In our model, bursting is an emergent behaviour of a complex system, involving both positive and negative feedbacks, between many sparsely connected cells. The oxytocin cells are regulated by independent afferent inputs, but they interact by local release of oxytocin and endocannabinoids. Oxytocin released from the dendrites of these cells has a positive-feedback effect, while endocannabinoids have an inhibitory effect by suppressing the afferent input to the cells.

  5. Alcohol- and alcohol antagonist-sensitive human GABAA receptors: tracking δ subunit incorporation into functional receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meera, Pratap; Olsen, Richard W; Otis, Thomas S; Wallner, Martin

    2010-11-01

    GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) have long been a focus as targets for alcohol actions. Recent work suggests that tonic GABAergic inhibition mediated by extrasynaptic δ subunit-containing GABA(A)Rs is uniquely sensitive to ethanol and enhanced at concentrations relevant for human alcohol consumption. Ethanol enhancement of recombinant α4β3δ receptors is blocked by the behavioral alcohol antagonist 8-azido-5,6-dihydro-5-methyl-6-oxo-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepine-3-carboxylic acid ethyl ester (Ro15-4513), suggesting that EtOH/Ro15-4513-sensitive receptors mediate important behavioral alcohol actions. Here we confirm alcohol/alcohol antagonist sensitivity of α4β3δ receptors using human clones expressed in a human cell line and test the hypothesis that discrepant findings concerning the high alcohol sensitivity of these receptors are due to difficulties incorporating δ subunits into functional receptors. To track δ subunit incorporation, we used a functional tag, a single amino acid change (H68A) in a benzodiazepine binding residue in which a histidine in the δ subunit is replaced by an alanine residue found at the homologous position in γ subunits. We demonstrate that the δH68A substitution confers diazepam sensitivity to otherwise diazepam-insensitive α4β3δ receptors. The extent of enhancement of α4β3δH68A receptors by 1 μM diazepam, 30 mM EtOH, and 1 μM β-carboline-3-carboxy ethyl ester (but not 1 μM Zn(2+) block) is correlated in individual recordings, suggesting that δ subunit incorporation into recombinant GABA(A)Rs varies from cell to cell and that this variation accounts for the variable pharmacological profile. These data are consistent with the notion that δ subunit-incorporation is often incomplete in recombinant systems yet is necessary for high ethanol sensitivity, one of the features of native δ subunit-containing GABA(A)Rs.

  6. Oxytocin: Old Hormone, New Drug

    OpenAIRE

    Jolanta Gutkowska; Marek Jankowski

    2009-01-01

    Oxytocin (OT), traditionally associated with reproductive functions, was revisited recently, and several new functions in cardiovascular regulation were discovered. These functions include stimulation of the cardioprotective mediators nitric oxide (NO) and atrial natriuretic peptide. OT’s cardiovascular outcomes comprise: (i) natriuresis, (ii) blood pressure reduction, (iii) negative inotropic and chronotropic effects, (iv) parasympathetic neuromodulation, (v) NO pathway involvement in vasodi...

  7. The Involvement of Oxytocin in the Subthalamic Nucleus on Relapse to Methamphetamine-Seeking Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baracz, Sarah Jane; Everett, Nicholas Adams; Cornish, Jennifer Louise

    2015-01-01

    The psychostimulant methamphetamine (METH) is an addictive drug of abuse. The neuropeptide oxytocin has been shown to modulate METH-related reward and METH-seeking behaviour. Recent findings implicated the subthalamic nucleus (STh) as a key brain region in oxytocin modulation of METH-induced reward. However, it is unclear if oxytocin acts in this region to attenuate relapse to METH-seeking behaviour, and if this action is through the oxytocin receptor. We aimed to determine whether oxytocin pretreatment administered into the STh would reduce reinstatement to METH use in rats experienced at METH self-administration, and if this could be reversed by the co-administration of the oxytocin receptor antagonist desGly-NH2,d(CH2)5[D-Tyr2,Thr4]OVT. Male Sprague Dawley rats underwent surgery to implant an intravenous jugular vein catheter and bilateral microinjection cannulae into the STh under isoflourane anaesthesia. Rats were then trained to self-administer intravenous METH (0.1 mg/kg/infusion) by lever press during 2-hour sessions under a fixed ratio 1 schedule for 20 days. Following extinction of lever press activity, the effect of microinjecting saline, oxytocin (0.2 pmol, 0.6 pmol, 1.8 pmol, 3.6 pmol) or co-administration of oxytocin (3.6 pmol) and desGly-NH2,d(CH2)5[D-Tyr2,Thr4]OVT (3 nmol) into the STh (200 nl/side) was examined on METH-primed reinstatement (1 mg/kg; i.p.). We found that local administration of the highest oxytocin dose (3.6 pmol) into the STh decreased METH-induced reinstatement and desGly-NH2,d(CH2)5[D-Tyr2,Thr4]OVT had a non-specific effect on lever press activity. These findings highlight that oxytocin modulation of the STh is an important modulator of relapse to METH abuse. PMID:26284529

  8. Hypercholesterolemia impairs oxytocin-induced uterine contractility in late pregnant mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padol, Amol R; Sukumaran, Susanth V; Sadam, Abdul; Kesavan, Manickam; Arunvikram, Kandasamy; Verma, Ankita D; Srivastava, Vivek; Panigrahi, Manjit; Singh, Thakur Uttam; Telang, Avinash G; Mishra, Santosh K; Parida, Subhashree

    2017-05-01

    High cholesterol is known to negatively affect uterine contractility in ex vivo conditions. The aim of the present study was to reveal the effect of in vivo hypercholesterolemia on spontaneous and oxytocin-induced uterine contractility in late pregnant mouse uterus. Female Swiss albino mice were fed with high cholesterol (HC) diet (0.5% sodium cholate, 1.25% cholesterol and 15% fat) for 6 weeks and then throughout the gestation period after mating. On day 19 of gestation, serum cholesterol level was increased more than 3-fold while triglycerides level was reduced in HC diet-fed animals as compared to control animals fed with a standard diet. In tension experiments, neither the mean integral tension of spontaneous contractility nor the response to CaCl 2 in high K + -depolarized tissues was altered, but the oxytocin-induced concentration-dependent contractile response in uterine strips was attenuated in hypercholesterolemic mice as compared to control. Similarly, hypercholesterolemia dampened concentration-dependent uterine contractions elicited by a GNAQ protein activator, Pasteurella multocida toxin. However, it had no effect on endogenous oxytocin level either in plasma or in uterine tissue. It also did not affect the prostaglandin release in oxytocin-stimulated tissues. Western blot data showed a significant increase in caveolin-1 and GRK6 proteins but decline in oxytocin receptor, GNAQ and RHOA protein expressions in hypercholesterolemic mouse uterus. The results of the present study suggest that hypercholesterolemia may attenuate the uterotonic action of oxytocin in late pregnancy by causing downregulation of oxytocin receptors and suppressing the signaling efficacy through GNAQ and RHOA proteins. © 2017 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  9. Oxytocin and Postpartum Depression: Delivering on What’s Known and What’s Not

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sohye; Soeken, Timothy A.; Cromer, Sara J.; Martinez, Sheila R.; Hardy, Leah R.; Strathearn, Lane

    2013-01-01

    The role of oxytocin in the treatment of postpartum depression has been a topic of growing interest. This subject carries important implications, given that postpartum depression can have detrimental effects on both the mother and her infant, with lifelong consequences for infant socioemotional and cognitive development. In recent years, oxytocin has received attention for its potential role in many neuropsychiatric conditions beyond its well-described functions in childbirth and lactation. In the present review, we present available data on the clinical characteristics and neuroendocrine foundations of postpartum depression. We outline current treatment modalities and their limitations, and proceed to evaluate the potential role of oxytocin in the treatment of postpartum depression. The aim of the present review is twofold: a) to bring together evidence from animal and human research concerning the role of oxytocin in postpartum depression, and b) to highlight areas that deserve further research in order to bring a fuller understanding of oxytocin’s therapeutic potential. PMID:24239932

  10. Behavioral analysis of Drosophila transformants expressing human taste receptor genes in the gustatory receptor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adachi, Ryota; Sasaki, Yuko; Morita, Hiromi; Komai, Michio; Shirakawa, Hitoshi; Goto, Tomoko; Furuyama, Akira; Isono, Kunio

    2012-06-01

    Transgenic Drosophila expressing human T2R4 and T2R38 bitter-taste receptors or PKD2L1 sour-taste receptor in the fly gustatory receptor neurons and other tissues were prepared using conventional Gal4/UAS binary system. Molecular analysis showed that the transgene mRNAs are expressed according to the tissue specificity of the Gal4 drivers. Transformants expressing the transgene taste receptors in the fly taste neurons were then studied by a behavioral assay to analyze whether transgene chemoreceptors are functional and coupled to the cell response. Since wild-type flies show strong aversion against the T2R ligands as in mammals, the authors analyzed the transformants where the transgenes are expressed in the fly sugar receptor neurons so that they promote feeding ligand-dependently if they are functional and activate the neurons. Although the feeding preference varied considerably among different strains and individuals, statistical analysis using large numbers of transformants indicated that transformants expressing T2R4 showed a small but significant increase in the preference for denatonium and quinine, the T2R4 ligands, as compared to the control flies, whereas transformants expressing T2R38 did not. Similarly, transformants expressing T2R38 and PKD2L1 also showed a similar preference increase for T2R38-specific ligand phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) and a sour-taste ligand, citric acid, respectively. Taken together, the transformants expressing mammalian taste receptors showed a small but significant increase in the feeding preference that is taste receptor and also ligand dependent. Although future improvements are required to attain performance comparable to the endogenous robust response, Drosophila taste neurons may serve as a potential in vivo heterologous expression system for analyzing chemoreceptor function.

  11. The effect of oxytocin on biological motion perception in dogs (Canis familiaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovács, Krisztina; Kis, Anna; Kanizsár, Orsolya; Hernádi, Anna; Gácsi, Márta; Topál, József

    2016-05-01

    Recent studies have shown that the neuropeptide oxytocin is involved in the regulation of several complex human social behaviours. There is, however, little research on the effect of oxytocin on basic mechanisms underlying human sociality, such as the perception of biological motion. In the present study, we investigated the effect of oxytocin on biological motion perception in dogs (Canis familiaris), a species adapted to the human social environment and thus widely used to model many aspects of human social behaviour. In a within-subjects design, dogs (N = 39), after having received either oxytocin or placebo treatment, were presented with 2D projection of a moving point-light human figure and the inverted and scrambled version of the same movie. Heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) were measured as physiological responses, and behavioural response was evaluated by observing dogs' looking time. Subjects were also rated on the personality traits of Neuroticism and Agreeableness by their owners. As expected, placebo-pretreated (control) dogs showed a spontaneous preference for the biological motion pattern; however, there was no such preference after oxytocin pretreatment. Furthermore, following the oxytocin pretreatment female subjects looked more at the moving point-light figure than males. The individual variations along the dimensions of Agreeableness and Neuroticism also modulated dogs' behaviour. Furthermore, HR and HRV measures were affected by oxytocin treatment and in turn played a role in subjects' looking behaviour. We discuss how these findings contribute to our understanding of the neurohormonal regulatory mechanisms of human (and non-human) social skills.

  12. Pharmacological assessment of adrenergic receptors in human varicose veins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, V M; Rud, K S; Gloviczki, P

    2000-06-01

    Experiments were to characterize pharmacologically adrenergic receptors in human varicose veins to the natural transmitter norepinephrine and to an extract of Ruscus. Greater saphenous veins and varicose tributaries from patients undergoing elective surgery for primary varicose disease and portions of greater saphenous veins from patients undergoing peripheral arterial reconstruction (control) were suspended for the measurement of isometric force in organ chambers. Concentration response curves were obtained to norepinephrine or the extract of Ruscus aculeatus in the absence and presence of selective antagonists of alpha, and alpha2 adrenergic receptors. Norepinephrine and Ruscus extract caused concentration-dependent contractions in all veins. Contractions to norepinephrine were greater in control veins than in varicose tributaries. Contractions to the extract were greater in varicose tributaries than in greater saphenous veins from varicose patients. Contractions to norepinephrine were reduced similarly by alpha and alpha2-adrenergic agonists in control and varicose veins but to a greater extent by alpha2-blockade in greater saphenous veins from varicose patients. Contractions to Ruscus extract were not reduced by alpha-adrenergic blockade in control veins but were reduced by alpha2-adrenergic blockade in varicose veins. These results suggest a differential distribution of alpha adrenergic receptors on greater saphenous veins from non-varicose patients compared to those with primary varicose disease. Venotropic agents from plant extract probably exert effects by way of multiple receptor and non-receptor mediated events.

  13. "The role of oxytocin in psychiatric disorders: A review of biological and therapeutic research findings"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochran, David; Fallon, Daniel; Hill, Michael; Frazier, Jean A.

    2014-01-01

    Oxytocin is a peptide hormone integral in parturition, milk let-down, and maternal behaviors that has been demonstrated in animal studies to be important in the formation of pair bonds and in social behaviors. This hormone is increasingly recognized as an important regulator of human social behaviors, including social decision making, evaluating and responding to social stimuli, mediating social interactions, and forming social memories. In addition, oxytocin is intricately involved in a broad array of neuropsychiatric functions, and may be a common factor important in multiple psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, mood and anxiety disorders. This review article examines the extant literature on the evidence for oxytocin dysfunction in a variety of psychiatric disorders and highlights the need for further research to understand the complex role of the oxytocin system in psychiatric disease to pave the way for developing new therapeutic modalities. Articles were selected that involved human participants with various psychiatric disorders, either comparing oxytocin biology to healthy controls or examining the effects of exogenous oxytocin administration. PMID:24651556

  14. As time goes by: Oxytocin influences the subjective perception of time in a social context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colonnello, Valentina; Domes, Gregor; Heinrichs, Markus

    2016-06-01

    Time perception depends on an event's emotional relevance to the beholder; a subjective time dilation effect is associated with self-relevant, emotionally salient stimuli. Previous studies have revealed that oxytocin modulates the salience of social stimuli and attention to social cues. However, whether the oxytocin system is involved in human subjective time perception is unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether increased oxytocin levels would induce a time dilation effect for self-relevant, positive social cues. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subject design, heterosexual men were administered intranasal oxytocin or placebo. After about 50min, participants completed a time-bisection task in which they estimated lengths of exposure to happy female faces (self-relevant positive stimuli, based on sexual orientation), emotionally neutral and negative female faces (control), and happy, neutral, and negative male faces (control). Oxytocin induced a subjective time dilation effect for happy female faces and a time compression effect for happy male faces. Our results provide evidence that oxytocin influences time perception, a primary form of human subjectivity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Effects of oxytocin on background anxiety in rats with high or low baseline startle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayers, Luke; Agostini, Andrew; Schulkin, Jay; Rosen, Jeffrey B

    2016-06-01

    Oxytocin has antianxiety properties in humans and rodents. However, the antianxiety effects have been variable. To reduce variability and to strengthen the antianxiety effect of oxytocin in fear-potentiated startle, two experiments were performed. First, different amounts of light-shock pairings were given to determine the optimal levels of cue-specific fear conditioning and non-predictable startle (background anxiety). Second, the antianxiety effects of oxytocin were examined in rats with high and low pre-fear conditioning baseline startle to determine if oxytocin differentially affects high and low trait anxiety rats. Baseline pre-fear conditioning startle responses were first measured. Rats then received 1, 5, or 10 light-shock pairings. Fear-potentiated startle was then tested with two trial types: light-cued startle and non-cued startle trials. In the second experiment, rats fear conditioned with 10 light-shock pairings were administered either saline or oxytocin before a fear-potentiated startle test. Rats were categorized as low or high startlers by their pre-fear conditioning startle amplitude. Ten shock pairings produced the largest non-cued startle responses (background anxiety), without increasing cue-specific fear-potentiated startle compared to one and five light-shock pairings. Cue-specific fear-potentiated startle was unaffected by oxytocin. Oxytocin reduced background anxiety only in rats with low pre-fear startle responses. Oxytocin has population selective antianxiety effects on non-cued unpredictable threat, but only in rats with low pre-fear baseline startle responses. The low startle responses are reminiscent of humans with low startle responses and high trait anxiety.

  16. Effects of long-term treatment with oxytocin in chronic constipation; a double blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohlsson, B; Truedsson, M; Bengtsson, M; Torstenson, R; Sjölund, K; Björnsson, E S; Simrèn, M

    2005-10-01

    Oxytocin and its receptor have been found throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where it affects gut function. Clinically, we have noticed an improvement of bowel habits during lactation in constipated women. The aim of this study was to examine whether oxytocin has an effect on bowel symptoms and psychological well being in women with refractory constipation. Fifty-nine women with refractory constipation were included in a double blind, multicentre study. After a 2-week run-in period, they were randomly allocated to nasal inhalation of either placebo or oxytocin treatment twice daily for 13 weeks, followed by a 2 weeks, posttreatment period. The patients completed a questionnaire every day concerning bowel habits, abdominal pain and discomfort, and Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating Scale (GSRS) and Psychological General Well-being (PGWB) twice during the study; namely, during the baseline period and at the end of the treatment period. Both oxytocin and placebo led to improvement of the constipation according to the GSRS and led to improvement in the sensation of incomplete evacuation and anorectal obstruction, without significant differences between the groups. Abdominal pain and discomfort responded weakly to oxytocin, with no effect of the placebo. In a subgroup of patients with IBS and concomitant depression, a weak improvement in depressed mood was observed after oxytocin administartion. Nasal administration of oxytocin had no significant advantage over placebo concerning an effect on constipation. However, it seems to have a positive effect on abdominal pain and discomfort and depressed mood. These findings should be further explored.

  17. Oxytocin and autism: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preti, Antonio; Melis, Mariangela; Siddi, Sara; Vellante, Marcello; Doneddu, Giuseppe; Fadda, Roberta

    2014-03-01

    Little is known about the effectiveness of pharmacological interventions on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is a systematic review of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of oxytocin interventions in autism, made from January 1990 to September 2013. A search of computerized databases was supplemented by manual search in the bibliographies of key publications. The methodological quality of the studies included in the review was evaluated independently by two researchers, according to a set of formal criteria. Discrepancies in scoring were resolved through discussion. The review yielded seven RCTs, including 101 subjects with ASD (males=95) and 8 males with Fragile X syndrome. The main categories of target symptoms tested in the studies were repetitive behaviors, eye gaze, and emotion recognition. The studies had a medium to high risk of bias. Most studies had small samples (median=15). All the studies but one reported statistically significant between-group differences on at least one outcome variable. Most findings were characterized by medium effect size. Only one study had evidence that the improvement in emotion recognition was maintained after 6 weeks of treatment with intranasal oxytocin. Overall, oxytocin was well tolerated and side effects, when present, were generally rated as mild; however, restlessness, increased irritability, and increased energy occurred more often under oxytocin. RCTs of oxytocin interventions in autism yielded potentially promising findings in measures of emotion recognition and eye gaze, which are impaired early in the course of the ASD condition and might disrupt social skills learning in developing children. There is a need for larger, more methodologically rigorous RCTs in this area. Future studies should be better powered to estimate outcomes with medium to low effect size, and should try to enroll female participants, who were rarely considered in previous studies. Risk of bias should be minimized. Human long

  18. Characterisation of the expression of NMDA receptors in human astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Chak Lee

    Full Text Available Astrocytes have long been perceived only as structural and supporting cells within the central nervous system (CNS. However, the discovery that these glial cells may potentially express receptors capable of responding to endogenous neurotransmitters has resulted in the need to reassess astrocytic physiology. The aim of the current study was to characterise the expression of NMDA receptors (NMDARs in primary human astrocytes, and investigate their response to physiological and excitotoxic concentrations of the known endogenous NMDAR agonists, glutamate and quinolinic acid (QUIN. Primary cultures of human astrocytes were used to examine expression of these receptors at the mRNA level using RT-PCR and qPCR, and at the protein level using immunocytochemistry. The functionality role of the receptors was assessed using intracellular calcium influx experiments and measuring extracellular lactate dehydrogenase (LDH activity in primary cultures of human astrocytes treated with glutamate and QUIN. We found that all seven currently known NMDAR subunits (NR1, NR2A, NR2B, NR2C, NR2D, NR3A and NR3B are expressed in astrocytes, but at different levels. Calcium influx studies revealed that both glutamate and QUIN could activate astrocytic NMDARs, which stimulates Ca2+ influx into the cell and can result in dysfunction and death of astrocytes. Our data also show that the NMDAR ion channel blockers, MK801, and memantine can attenuate glutamate and QUIN mediated cell excitotoxicity. This suggests that the mechanism of glutamate and QUIN gliotoxicity is at least partially mediated by excessive stimulation of NMDARs. The present study is the first to provide definitive evidence for the existence of functional NMDAR expression in human primary astrocytes. This discovery has significant implications for redefining the cellular interaction between glia and neurons in both physiological processes and pathological conditions.

  19. Endothelin-1 downregulates Mas receptor expression in human cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhiheng; Tang, Yamei; Yang, Zuocheng; Liu, Shaojun; Liu, Yong; Li, Yan; He, Wei

    2013-09-01

    Endothelin-1 (ET-1) and the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) are involved in the pathogenesis of cardiac dysfunction. The Mas receptor is a functional binding site for angiotensin (Ang)‑(1-7), which is now considered a critical component of the RAS and exerts cardioprotective effects. To the best of our knowledge, the present study aimed to examine, for the first time, the effects of ET-1 on Mas expression in cultured human cardiomyocytes. Human cardiomyocytes were treated with ET-1 at different concentrations (1, 5, 10, 20 and 30 nM) for varied time periods (0.5, 1.5, 3, 4.5 or 6 h) with or without the transcription inhibitor actinomycin D, endothelin A (ETA) receptor blocker BQ123 and ETB receptor blocker BQ788, or different kinase inhibitors. ET-1 decreased the Mas mRNA level in a statistically significant dose- and time-dependent manner within 4.5 h, which was reflected in the dose-dependent downregulation of Mas promoter activity, Mas protein levels and Ang-(1-7) binding on the cell membrane. Actinomycin D (1 mg/ml), BQ123 (1 µM), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) siRNA and inhibitor PD169316 (25 µM), completely eliminated the inhibitory effects of ET-1 on Mas expression in human cardiomyocytes. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that ET-1 downregulates Mas expression at the transcription level in human cardiomyocytes via the ETA receptor by a p38 MAPK‑dependent mechanism. This study provides novel insights into the function of ET-1 and the Ang‑(1-7)/Mas axis in cardiac pathophysiology.

  20. Thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor and thyroid hormone receptors are involved in human endometrial physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghajanova, Lusine; Stavreus-Evers, Anneli; Lindeberg, Maria; Landgren, Britt-Marie; Sparre, Lottie Skjöldebrand; Hovatta, Outi

    2011-01-01

    To study the expression, distribution, and function of thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) and thyroid hormone receptors (TR) α1, α2, and β1 in human endometrium. Experimental clinical study. University hospital. 31 fertile women. Endometrial biopsy samples obtained throughout the menstrual cycle. Real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry and Western blot to study the expression of TSHR, TRα1, TRα2, and TRβ1 messenger RNA (mRNA) and proteins in human endometrium. We found TSHR, TRα1, TRα2 and TRβ1 mRNA and proteins expressed in human endometrium. Immunostaining for TSHR in the luminal epithelium and TRα1 and β1 in the glandular and luminal epithelium increased statistically significantly on luteinizing hormone (LH) days 6 to 9, coinciding with appearance of pinopodes. Endometrial stromal and Ishikawa cells expressed mRNA for TSHR, TR, and iodothyronine deiodinases 1-3. After 48 hours, TSH significantly increased leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and LIF receptor (LIFR) messenger RNA (mRNA) in endometrial stromal cells, but decreased their expression in Ishikawa cells. Glucose transporter 1 mRNA was up-regulated by TSH in Ishikawa cells. We found that TSH statistically significantly increased secretion of free triiodothyronine (T3) and total thyroxin (T4) by Ishikawa cells compared with nonstimulated cells. Thyroid hormones are directly involved in endometrial physiology. Copyright © 2011 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Monoclonal antibodies reacting with multiple epitopes on the human insulin receptor.

    OpenAIRE

    Soos, M A; Siddle, K; Baron, M D; Heward, J M; Luzio, J P; Bellatin, J; Lennox, E S

    1986-01-01

    Monoclonal antibodies for the human insulin receptor were produced following immunization of mice with IM-9 lymphocytes and/or purified placental receptor. Four separate fusions yielded 28 antibodies, all of which reacted with receptor from human placenta, liver and IM-9 cells. Some antibodies cross-reacted to varying degrees with receptor from rabbit, cow, pig and sheep, but none reacted with rat receptor. At least 10 distinct epitopes were recognized as indicated by species specificity and ...

  2. Regulation of human sperm motility by opioid receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agirregoitia, E; Subiran, N; Valdivia, A; Gil, J; Zubero, J; Irazusta, J

    2012-05-01

    The endogenous opioid system has been reported to have important functions in human reproduction. Practically all the components of this peptide system have been discovered in human sperm cells, but their functions in these cells are far from being well understood. In the present work, we report the effects of opioid agonism and antagonism on human sperm motility, a parameter which is crucially associated with male fertility. Morphine (10(-7) M), a μ- opioid receptor agonist, decreased both the percentage of motile progressive sperm and three measured velocities without altering the linearity, straightness or vigour of sperm cells. This effect was reversed by naloxone. Higher doses of morphine did not have further effects on the measured parameters. The incubation of sperm cells with the δ-opioid receptor agonist D-penicillamine (2,5)-enkephalin did not affect sperm cell motility. However, naltrindole, a specific δ-receptor antagonist, reduced the linear and curvilinear velocities, as well as linearity, straightness and the amplitude of head displacement, and beat frequency. In summary, our results indicate that the endogenous opioid system may regulate opioid motility in vitro. These finding suggest that the endogenous opioid system could be useful as a biochemical tool for the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  3. The association between oxytocin and social capital.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeo Fujiwara

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Oxytocin is known to be related to social behaviors, including trust. However, few studies have investigated the association between oxytocin levels and social capital. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that endogenous oxytocin levels are positively associated with social capital. We also considered whether the association differed across gender because previous studies have shown differential effects of OT on social behaviors depending on gender. METHODS: We recruited a convenience sample of 50 women and 31 men in Japan via community sampling from whom we obtained urine sample with which to measure oxytocin levels. Individual-level cognitive social capital (social trust and mutual aid and structural social capital (community participation were assessed using a questionnaire. We used multivariate regression, adjusted for covariates (age, number of children, self-rated health, and education, and stratified by gender to consider associations between oxytocin and social capital. RESULTS: Among women, oxytocin was inversely associated with social trust and mutual aid (p<0.05. However, women participating in only 1 organization in the community showed higher oxytocin than women who participated in either no organizations (p<0.05 or 2 or more organization (i.e. inverse-U shape association. Among men, no association was observed between oxytocin and either form of cognitive and structural social capital. CONCLUSION: Women who perceived low cognitive social capital showed higher oxytocin levels, while structural social capital showed inverse-U shape association with oxytocin. No association between oxytocin and social capital was found among men. Further study is needed to elucidate why oxytocin was inversely associated with cognitive social capital only among women.

  4. Oxytocin antagonist disrupts hypotension-evoked renin secretion and other responses in conscious rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huang, W.; Sjöquist, M.; Skøtt, O.

    2001-01-01

    Previous experiments have indicated that arterial hypotension increases plasma oxytocin (OT) levels in rats and that OT infused intravenously causes an increase in plasma renin activity (PRA). The goal of the present study was to determine whether systemic administration of an OT receptor...

  5. The role of GABAB receptors in human reinforcement learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ort, Andres; Kometer, Michael; Rohde, Judith; Seifritz, Erich; Vollenweider, Franz X

    2014-10-01

    Behavioral evidence from human studies suggests that the γ-aminobutyric acid type B receptor (GABAB receptor) agonist baclofen modulates reinforcement learning and reduces craving in patients with addiction spectrum disorders. However, in contrast to the well established role of dopamine in reinforcement learning, the mechanisms by which the GABAB receptor influences reinforcement learning in humans remain completely unknown. To further elucidate this issue, a cross-over, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed in healthy human subjects (N=15) to test the effects of baclofen (20 and 50mg p.o.) on probabilistic reinforcement learning. Outcomes were the feedback-induced P2 component of the event-related potential, the feedback-related negativity, and the P300 component of the event-related potential. Baclofen produced a reduction of P2 amplitude over the course of the experiment, but did not modulate the feedback-related negativity. Furthermore, there was a trend towards increased learning after baclofen administration relative to placebo over the course of the experiment. The present results extend previous theories of reinforcement learning, which focus on the importance of mesolimbic dopamine signaling, and indicate that stimulation of cortical GABAB receptors in a fronto-parietal network leads to better attentional allocation in reinforcement learning. This observation is a first step in our understanding of how baclofen may improve reinforcement learning in healthy subjects. Further studies with bigger sample sizes are needed to corroborate this conclusion and furthermore, test this effect in patients with addiction spectrum disorder. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  6. Pulmonary delivery of an ultra-fine oxytocin dry powder formulation: potential for treatment of postpartum haemorrhage in developing countries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Prankerd

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is recommended by the World Health Organisation as the most effective uterotonic for the prevention and treatment of postpartum haemorrhage. The requirement for parenteral administration by trained healthcare providers and the need for the drug solution to be maintained under cold-chain storage limit the use of oxytocin in the developing world. In this study, a spray-dried ultrafine formulation of oxytocin was developed with an optimal particle size diameter (1-5 µm to facilitate aerosolised delivery via the lungs. A powder formulation of oxytocin, using mannitol, glycine and leucine as carriers, was prepared with a volume-based median particle diameter of 1.9 µm. Oxytocin content in the formulation was assayed using high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy and was found to be unchanged after spray-drying. Ex vivo contractility studies utilising human and ovine uterine tissue indicated no difference in the bioactivity of oxytocin before and after spray-drying. Uterine electromyographic (EMG activity in postpartum ewes following pulmonary (in vivo administration of oxytocin closely mimicked that observed immediately postpartum (0-12 h following normal vaginal delivery of the lamb. In comparison to the intramuscular injection, pulmonary administration of an oxytocin dry powder formulation to postpartum ewes resulted in generally similar EMG responses, however a more rapid onset of uterine EMG activity was observed following pulmonary administration (129 ± 18 s than intramuscular injection (275 ± 22 s. This is the first study to demonstrate the potential for oxytocin to elicit uterine activity after systemic absorption as an aerosolised powder from the lungs. Aerosolised oxytocin has the potential to provide a stable and easy to administer delivery system for effective prevention and treatment of postpartum haemorrhage in resource-poor settings in the developing world.

  7. The orgasmic history of oxytocin: Love, lust, and labor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Navneet Magon

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxytocin has been best known for its roles in female reproduction. It is released in large amounts during labor, and after stimulation of the nipples. It is a facilitator for childbirth and breastfeeding. However, recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin′s role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, bonding, and maternal behaviors. This small nine amino acid peptide is now believed to be involved in a wide variety of physiological and pathological functions such as sexual activity, penile erection, ejaculation, pregnancy, uterine contraction, milk ejection, maternal behavior, social bonding, stress and probably many more, which makes oxytocin and its receptor potential candidates as targets for drug therapy. From an innocuous agent as an aid in labor and delivery, oxytocin has come a long way in being touted as the latest party drug. The hormone of labor during the course of the last 100 years has had multiple orgasms to be the hormone of love. Many more shall be seen in the times to come!

  8. An attempt to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms contributing to possible relationships between personality traits and oxytocin-related genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haram, Marit; Tesli, Martin; Dieset, Ingrid; Steen, Nils Eiel; Røssberg, Jan Ivar; Djurovic, Srdjan; Andreassen, Ole A; Melle, Ingrid

    2014-01-01

    The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin play a central role in social behavior. Trials with intranasal oxytocin have been conducted and many indicate that the hormone facilitates affiliative behavior and trust. Intranasal oxytocin administration is suggested as a treatment option for psychiatric illnesses with altered sociability as a core symptom and the effects may be due to differences in variants of oxytocin- and vasopressin-related genes. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the endogenous oxytocin system by exploring the relationship between variants in the oxytocin gene factors and personality traits closely related to trust, anxiety and social behavior. 72 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the genes coding for oxytocin (OXT), vasopressin (AVP), the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) and CD38 (CD38), including polymorphisms reported earlier to be related to social phenotypes and novel SNPs, were investigated in 196 healthy subjects. Association analysis between these variants and 3 personality traits (agreeableness, neuroticism and extraversion) measured by the Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Five-Factor Inventory was performed. We found 7 nominally significant associations for personality traits: agreeableness [rs857240 (AVP, p = 0.0075), rs2270463 (OXTR, p = 0.047)], neuroticism [rs3756242 (CD38, p = 0.024), rs13104011 (CD38, p = 0.024), rs6816486 (CD38, p = 0.024), rs7655635 (CD38, p = 0.034)] and extraversion [rs237878 (OXTR, p = 0.019)]. None of these associations remained significant after the Bonferroni correction (p threshold = 2.31 × 10(-4)). Our results do not contradict the hypothesis of associations between personality traits and oxytocin-related gene variants; however, there are no statistically significant associations after correcting for multiple testing, warranting replication in larger samples.

  9. Pupil-mimicry conditions trust in partners: moderation by oxytocin and group membership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kret, Mariska E; De Dreu, Carsten K W

    2017-03-15

    Across species, oxytocin, an evolutionarily ancient neuropeptide, facilitates social communication by attuning individuals to conspecifics' social signals, fostering trust and bonding. The eyes have an important signalling function; and humans use their salient and communicative eyes to intentionally and unintentionally send social signals to others, by contracting the muscles around their eyes and pupils. In our earlier research, we observed that interaction partners with dilating pupils are trusted more than partners with constricting pupils. But over and beyond this effect, we found that the pupil sizes of partners synchronize and that when pupils synchronously dilate, trust is further boosted. Critically, this linkage between mimicry and trust was bound to interactions between ingroup members. The current study investigates whether these findings are modulated by oxytocin and sex of participant and partner. Using incentivized trust games with partners from ingroup and outgroup whose pupils dilated, remained static or constricted, this study replicates our earlier findings. It further reveals that (i) male participants withhold trust from partners with constricting pupils and extend trust to partners with dilating pupils, especially when given oxytocin rather than placebo; (ii) female participants trust partners with dilating pupils most, but this effect is blunted under oxytocin; (iii) under oxytocin rather than placebo, pupil dilation mimicry is weaker and pupil constriction mimicry stronger; and (iv) the link between pupil constriction mimicry and distrust observed under placebo disappears under oxytocin. We suggest that pupil-contingent trust is parochial and evolved in social species in and because of group life. © 2017 The Authors.

  10. Oxytocin and postpartum depression: delivering on what's known and what's not.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sohye; Soeken, Timothy A; Cromer, Sara J; Martinez, Sheila R; Hardy, Leah R; Strathearn, Lane

    2014-09-11

    The role of oxytocin in the treatment of postpartum depression has been a topic of growing interest. This subject carries important implications, given that postpartum depression can have detrimental effects on both the mother and her infant, with lifelong consequences for infant socioemotional and cognitive development. In recent years, oxytocin has received attention for its potential role in many neuropsychiatric conditions beyond its well-described functions in childbirth and lactation. In the present review, we present available data on the clinical characteristics and neuroendocrine foundations of postpartum depression. We outline current treatment modalities and their limitations, and proceed to evaluate the potential role of oxytocin in the treatment of postpartum depression. The aim of the present review is twofold: (a) to bring together evidence from animal and human research concerning the role of oxytocin in postpartum depression, and (b) to highlight areas that deserve further research in order to bring a fuller understanding of oxytocin's therapeutic potential. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin and Social Behav. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Effects of MDMA and Intranasal oxytocin on social and emotional processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkpatrick, Matthew G; Lee, Royce; Wardle, Margaret C; Jacob, Suma; de Wit, Harriet

    2014-06-01

    MDMA (± 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, 'ecstasy') is used recreationally, reportedly because it increases feelings of empathy, sociability, and interpersonal closeness. One line of evidence suggests that MDMA produces these effects by releasing oxytocin, a peptide involved in social bonding. In the current study, we investigated the acute effects of MDMA and oxytocin on social and emotional processing in healthy human volunteers. MDMA users (N = 65) participated in a 4-session, within-between-subjects study in which they received oral MDMA (0.75, 1.5 mg/kg), intranasal oxytocin (20 or 40 IU), or placebo under double-blind conditions. The primary outcomes included measures of emotion recognition and sociability (desire to be with others). Cardiovascular and subjective effects were also assessed. As expected, MDMA dose-dependently increased heart rate and blood pressure and feelings of euphoria (eg, 'High' and 'Like Drug'). On measures of social function, MDMA impaired recognition of angry and fearful facial expressions, and the larger dose (1.5 mg/kg) increased desire to be with others, compared with placebo. Oxytocin produced small but significant increases in feelings of sociability and enhanced recognition of sad facial expressions. Additionally, responses to oxytocin were related to responses to MDMA with subjects on two subjective measures of sociability. Thus, MDMA increased euphoria and feelings of sociability, perhaps by reducing sensitivity to subtle signs of negative emotions in others. The present findings provide only limited support for the idea that oxytocin produces the prosocial effects of MDMA.

  12. A meta-analytic review of the correlation between peripheral oxytocin and cortisol concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Christopher A; Cardoso, Christopher; Ellenbogen, Mark A

    2016-10-01

    The stress dampening effects of exogenous oxytocin in humans have been well documented. However, the relation between endogenous oxytocin and cortisol is poorly understood. We conducted a meta-analysis on the correlation between oxytocin and cortisol levels measured at baseline (k=24, N=739). The effect size for the baseline correlation statistic was small (Pearson r=0.163, p=0.008), with high heterogeneity (I(2)=67.88%). Moderation analysis revealed that studies where participants anticipated an experimental manipulation evidenced a greater positive correlation compared to those that did not (Pearson r=0.318, p=0.006). A supplementary analysis including additional studies indicated that oxytocin levels in unextracted samples were 60 times higher when using this questionable practice. The findings suggest that the interplay between oxytocin and cortisol is dynamic and sensitive to the anticipation of stress or novelty. Furthermore, extraction of oxytocin appears to be an essential methodological practice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Characterization of interleukin-8 receptors in non-human primates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alvarez, V.; Coto, E.; Gonzalez-Roces, S.; Lopez-Larrea, C. [Hospital Central de Asturias, Oviedo (Spain)] [and others

    1996-09-01

    Interleukin-8 is a chemokine with a potent neutrophil chemoatractant activity. In humans, two different cDNAs encoding human IL8 receptors designated IL8RA and IL8RB have been cloned. IL8RA binds IL8, while IL8RB binds IL8 as well as other {alpha}-chemokines. Both human IL8Rs are encoded by two genes physically linked on chromosome 2. The IL8RA and IL8RB genes have open reading frames (ORF) lacking introns. By direct sequencing of the polymerase chain reaction products, we sequenced the IL8R genes of cell lines from four non-human primates: chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and macaca. The IL8RB encodes an ORF in the four non-human primates, showing 95%-99% similarity to the human IL8RB sequence. The IL8RA homologue in gorilla and chimpanzee consisted of two ORF 98%-99% identical to the human sequence. The macaca and orangutan IL8RA homologues are pseudogenes: a 2 base pair insertion generated a sequence with several stop codons. In addition, we describe the physical linkage of these genes in the four non-human primates and discuss the evolutionary implications of these findings. 25 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.

  14. Immunologic analysis of human breast cancer progesterone receptors. 1. Immunonaffinity purification of transformed receptors and production of monoclonal antibodies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Estes, P.A.; Suba, E.J.; Lawler-Heavner, J.; Elashry-Stowers, D.; Wei, L.L.; Toft, D.O.; Sullivan, W.P.; Horwitz, K.B.; Edwards, D.P.

    1987-09-22

    A monoclonal antibody (MAb), designated PR-6, produced against chick oviduct progesterone receptors cross-reacts with the M/sub r/ 120,000 human B receptors. An immunomatrix prepared with PR-6 was used to purify progesterone receptors (PR) from T47D human breast cancer cells. Single-step immunoaffinity chromatography results in enrichment of B receptors (identified by immunoblot with PR-6 and by photoaffinity labeling with (/sup 3/H)promegestone) to a specific activity of 1915 pmol/mg of protein (or 23% purity) and with 27% yield. Purity and yields as judged by gel electrophoresis and densitometric scanning of the B protein were approximately 1.7-fold higher due to partial loss in hormone binding activity at the elution step. B receptors purified under these conditions are transformed and biologically active. They were maintained as undergraded 120-kDa doublets and retained both hormone and DNA binding activities. These purified B receptors were used as immunogen for production of four monoclonal antibodies against human PR. Three of the MAbs, designated as B-30 (IgG/sub 1/), B-64 (IgG/sub 1/), and B-11 (IgM), are specific for B receptors. The fourth MAb, A/B-52 (IgG/sub 1/), reacts with both A and B receptors. The IgG MAbs are monospecific for human PR since they recognize and absorb native receptor-hormone complexes, displace the sedimentation of 4S receptors on salt containing sucrose gradients, and, by immunoblot assay of crude T47D cytosol, react only with receptor polypeptides. Although mice were injected with B receptors only, production of A/B-52 which recognized both A and B receptors provides evidence that these two proteins share regions of structural homology.

  15. Crystal Structure of an LSD-Bound Human Serotonin Receptor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wacker, Daniel; Wang, Sheng; McCorvy, John D.; Betz, Robin M.; Venkatakrishnan, A.J.; Levit, Anat; Lansu, Katherine; Schools, Zachary L.; Che, Tao; Nichols, David E.; Shoichet, Brian K.; Dror, Ron O.; Roth, Bryan L. (UNCSM); (UNC); (Stanford); (Stanford-MED); (UCSF)

    2017-01-01

    The prototypical hallucinogen LSD acts via serotonin receptors, and here we describe the crystal structure of LSD in complex with the human serotonin receptor 5-HT2B. The complex reveals conformational rearrangements to accommodate LSD, providing a structural explanation for the conformational selectivity of LSD’s key diethylamide moiety. LSD dissociates exceptionally slow from both 5-HT2BR and 5-HT2AR—a major target for its psychoactivity. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations suggest that LSD’s slow binding kinetics may be due to a “lid” formed by extracellular loop 2 (EL2) at the entrance to the binding pocket. A mutation predicted to increase the mobility of this lid greatly accelerates LSD’s binding kinetics and selectively dampens LSD-mediated β-arrestin2 recruitment. This study thus reveals an unexpected binding mode of LSD; illuminates key features of its kinetics, stereochemistry, and signaling; and provides a molecular explanation for LSD’s actions at human serotonin receptors.

  16. Crystal Structure of an LSD-Bound Human Serotonin Receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wacker, Daniel; Wang, Sheng; McCorvy, John D; Betz, Robin M; Venkatakrishnan, A J; Levit, Anat; Lansu, Katherine; Schools, Zachary L; Che, Tao; Nichols, David E; Shoichet, Brian K; Dror, Ron O; Roth, Bryan L

    2017-01-26

    The prototypical hallucinogen LSD acts via serotonin receptors, and here we describe the crystal structure of LSD in complex with the human serotonin receptor 5-HT2B. The complex reveals conformational rearrangements to accommodate LSD, providing a structural explanation for the conformational selectivity of LSD's key diethylamide moiety. LSD dissociates exceptionally slow from both 5-HT2BR and 5-HT2AR-a major target for its psychoactivity. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations suggest that LSD's slow binding kinetics may be due to a "lid" formed by extracellular loop 2 (EL2) at the entrance to the binding pocket. A mutation predicted to increase the mobility of this lid greatly accelerates LSD's binding kinetics and selectively dampens LSD-mediated β-arrestin2 recruitment. This study thus reveals an unexpected binding mode of LSD; illuminates key features of its kinetics, stereochemistry, and signaling; and provides a molecular explanation for LSD's actions at human serotonin receptors. PAPERCLIP. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Does trait anxiety influence effects of oxytocin on eye-blink startle reactivity? A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Sonja; Oe, Misari; Wilhelm, Frank H; Rufer, Michael; Heinrichs, Markus; Weidt, Steffi; Moergeli, Hanspeter; Martin-Soelch, Chantal

    2018-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that the neuropeptide oxytocin modulates social behaviors and reduces anxiety. However, effects of oxytocin on startle reactivity, a well-validated measure of defense system activation related to fear and anxiety, have been inconsistent. Here we investigated the influence of oxytocin on startle reactivity with particular focus on the role of trait anxiety. Forty-four healthy male participants attended two experimental sessions. They received intranasal oxytocin (24 IU) in one session and placebo in the other. Startle probes were presented in combination with pictures of social and non-social content. Eye-blink startle magnitude was measured by electromyography over the musculus orbicularis oculi in response to 95 dB noise bursts. Participants were assigned to groups of high vs. low trait anxiety based on their scores on the trait form of the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). A significant interaction effect of oxytocin with STAI confirmed that trait anxiety moderated the effect of oxytocin on startle reactivity. Post-hoc tests indicated that for participants with elevated trait anxiety, oxytocin increased startle magnitude, particularly when watching non-social pictures, while this was not the case for participants with low trait anxiety. Results indicate that effects of oxytocin on defense system activation depend on individual differences in trait anxiety. Trait anxiety may be an important moderator variable that should be considered in human studies on oxytocin effects.

  18. Unsupportive social interactions and affective states: examining associations of two oxytocin-related polymorphisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McInnis, Opal A; McQuaid, Robyn J; Matheson, Kimberly; Anisman, Hymie

    2017-01-01

    Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on oxytocin-related genes, specifically the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) rs53576 and the CD38 rs3796863 variants, have been associated with alterations in prosocial behaviors. A cross-sectional study was conducted among undergraduate students (N = 476) to examine associations between the OXTR and CD38 polymorphisms and unsupportive social interactions and mood states. Results revealed no association between perceived levels of unsupportive social interactions and the OXTR polymorphism. However, A carriers of the CD38 polymorphism, a variant previously associated with elevated oxytocin, reported greater perceived peer unsupportive interactions compared to CC carriers. As expected, perceived unsupportive interactions from peers was associated with greater negative affect, which was moderated by the CD38 polymorphism. Specifically, this relation was stronger among CC carriers of the CD38 polymorphism (a variant thought to be linked to lower oxytocin). When examining whether the OXTR polymorphism moderated the relation between unsupportive social interactions from peers and negative affect there was a trend toward significance, however, this did not withstand multiple testing corrections. These findings are consistent with the perspective that a variant on an oxytocin polymorphism that may be tied to lower oxytocin is related to poor mood outcomes in association with negative social interactions. At the same time, having a genetic constitution presumed to be associated with higher oxytocin was related to increased perceptions of unsupportive social interactions. These seemingly paradoxical findings could be related to previous reports in which variants associated with prosocial behaviors were also tied to relatively more effective coping styles to deal with challenges.

  19. Glycine receptor mouse mutants: model systems for human hyperekplexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Natascha; Langlhofer, Georg; Kluck, Christoph J; Villmann, Carmen

    2013-11-01

    Human hyperekplexia is a neuromotor disorder caused by disturbances in inhibitory glycine-mediated neurotransmission. Mutations in genes encoding for glycine receptor subunits or associated proteins, such as GLRA1, GLRB, GPHN and ARHGEF9, have been detected in patients suffering from hyperekplexia. Classical symptoms are exaggerated startle attacks upon unexpected acoustic or tactile stimuli, massive tremor, loss of postural control during startle and apnoea. Usually patients are treated with clonazepam, this helps to dampen the severe symptoms most probably by up-regulating GABAergic responses. However, the mechanism is not completely understood. Similar neuromotor phenotypes have been observed in mouse models that carry glycine receptor mutations. These mouse models serve as excellent tools for analysing the underlying pathomechanisms. Yet, studies in mutant mice looking for postsynaptic compensation of glycinergic dysfunction via an up-regulation in GABAA receptor numbers have failed, as expression levels were similar to those in wild-type mice. However, presynaptic adaptation mechanisms with an unusual switch from mixed GABA/glycinergic to GABAergic presynaptic terminals have been observed. Whether this presynaptic adaptation explains the improvement in symptoms or other compensation mechanisms exist is still under investigation. With the help of spontaneous glycine receptor mouse mutants, knock-in and knock-out studies, it is possible to associate behavioural changes with pharmacological differences in glycinergic inhibition. This review focuses on the structural and functional characteristics of the various mouse models used to elucidate the underlying signal transduction pathways and adaptation processes and describes a novel route that uses gene-therapeutic modulation of mutated receptors to overcome loss of function mutations. © 2013 The British Pharmacological Society.

  20. Oxytocin is a cardiovascular hormone

    OpenAIRE

    Gutkowska, J.; Jankowski, M.; Mukaddam-Daher, S.; McCann, S.M.

    2000-01-01

    Oxytocin (OT), a nonapeptide, was the first hormone to have its biological activities established and chemical structure determined. It was believed that OT is released from hypothalamic nerve terminals of the posterior hypophysis into the circulation where it stimulates uterine contractions during parturition, and milk ejection during lactation. However, equivalent concentrations of OT were found in the male hypophysis, and similar stimuli of OT release were determined for both sexes, sugges...

  1. Toll-like receptors, chemokine receptors and death receptor ligands responses in SARS coronavirus infected human monocyte derived dendritic cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Law Helen KW

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The SARS outbreak in 2003 provides a unique opportunity for the study of human responses to a novel virus. We have previously reported that dendritic cells (DCs might be involved in the immune escape mechanisms for SARS-CoV. In this study, we focussed on the gene expression of toll-like receptors (TLRs, chemokine receptors (CCRs and death receptor ligands in SARS-CoV infected DCs. We also compared adult and cord blood (CB DCs to find a possible explanation for the age-dependent severity of SARS. Results Our results demonstrates that SARS-CoV did not modulate TLR-1 to TLR-10 gene expression but significantly induced the expression of CCR-1, CCR-3, and CCR-5. There was also strong induction of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL, but not Fas ligand gene expression in SARS-CoV infected DCs. Interestingly, the expressions of most genes studied were higher in CB DCs than adult DCs. Conclusion The upregulation of chemokines and CCRs may facilitate DC migration from the infection site to the lymph nodes, whereas the increase of TRAIL may induce lymphocyte apoptosis. These findings may explain the increased lung infiltrations and lymphoid depletion in SARS patients. Further explorations of the biological significance of these findings are warranted.

  2. CHARACTERIZATION OF THE OLFACTORY RECEPTORS EXPRESSED IN HUMAN SPERMATOZOA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline eFlegel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The detection of external cues is fundamental for human spermatozoa to locate the oocyte in the female reproductive tract. This task requires a specific chemoreceptor repertoire that is expressed on the surface of human spermatozoa, which is not fully identified to date. Olfactory receptors (ORs are candidate molecules and have been attributed to be involved in sperm chemotaxis and chemokinesis, indicating an important role in mammalian spermatozoa. An increasing importance has been suggested for spermatozoal RNA, which led us to investigate the expression of all 387 OR genes. This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of OR transcripts in human spermatozoa of several individuals by RNA-Seq. We detected 91 different transcripts in the spermatozoa samples that could be aligned to annotated OR genes. Using stranded mRNA-Seq, we detected a class of these putative OR transcripts in an antisense orientation, indicating a different function, rather than coding for a functional OR protein. Nevertheless, we were able to detect OR proteins in various compartments of human spermatozoa, indicating distinct functions in human sperm. A panel of various OR ligands induced Ca2+ signals in human spermatozoa, which could be inhibited by mibefradil. This study indicated that a variety of ORs are expressed at the mRNA and protein level in human spermatozoa and demonstrates that ORs are involved in the physiological processes.

  3. Oxytocin and Facial Emotion Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellenbogen, Mark A

    2017-08-16

    The expression of emotion in faces serves numerous meaningful functions, such as conveying messages of danger or approach, facilitating communication, and promoting the formation of social bonds and relationships. The study of facial expressions of emotion has become integral to research in social psychology and social neuroscience, particularly with respect to the neuropeptide oxytocin. This chapter examines how oxytocin influences the processing of emotion in faces by reviewing intranasal administration studies of automatic processing, selective attention, and emotion recognition. Two important trends in the literature have been identified: exogenous oxytocin attenuates early attentional biases towards negative stimuli and increases selective attention and recognition of emotional cues in faces, particularly around the eyes. Both of these effects can be traced to well-delineated neural circuits involving amygdala, early visual processing areas, and reward circuits, and both purportedly facilitate approach-related behavior when affiliative opportunities are available. These data are integrated into a conceptual model incorporating contextual factors and moderating influences, as oxytocinergic effects on cognition and social behavior appear to vary in persons along indices of social competence, interpersonal sensitivity, and early adversity. Limitations of this literature and future directions for research are briefly discussed.

  4. ANALYSIS OF POSSIBLE POSITIVE EFFECTS OF OXYTOCIN ADMINISTERED DURING BIRTH ON THE NEUROMOTOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE 0 - 5 YEAR-OLD-CHILDREN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iulia Elena DIACONU

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Neuropeptide oxytocin (OT receives increasing attention since, it plays a role in various behaviors including anxiety, drug addiction, learning, social recognition, empathy, pair bonding and decreased aggression. The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA, part of the limbic system, plays an important role in learning, memory, anxiety and reinforcing mechanisms. Oxytocin receptors are found in the tissues of the cardiovascular system, reproductive system, brain, and are activated by exposure to specific stimuli. The bestknown stimuli related to reproduction are sucking, birth, cervical stimulation during sexual intercourse. Changes in the oxytocinergic system play a fundamental role in the development of autism, mental disorders, including eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, with direct impact on the patient’s cognition and social behavior. Some researchers have observed that intranasal Oxytocin (OT is a potential treatment for multiple neuropsychiatric disorders. As oxytocin is a peptide, delivery by the intranasal (IN route is the preferred method in clinical studies. Although studies have shown increased cerebrospinal fluid oxytocin levels following intranasal administration, this does not unequivocably demonstrate that the peripherally administered oxytocin is entering the cerebrospinal fluid. For example, it has been suggested that peripheral delivery of oxytocin could lead to central release of endogenous oxytocin. It is also unknown whether the intranasal route provides for more efficient entry of the peptide into the CSF compared to the intravenous (IV route, which requires blood–brain barrier penetration.

  5. OXYTOCIN - AN EMERGING TREATMENT FOR OBESITY AND DYSGLYCEMIA: REVIEW OF RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS AND COHORT STUDIES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barengolts, Elena

    2016-07-01

    The psychotropic mediator and neuropeptide hormone oxytocin (OXT) is emerging as a promising treatment of metabolic disorders (obesity and dysglycemia). This review focuses on studies relevant to OXT use and its mechanisms of action in metabolic disorders and wellness behavior motivation. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort and preclinical studies identified in electronic databases were reviewed. There were only a few RCTs and cohort studies related to OXT and metabolic disorders. Anorexigenic and weight-loss effects of intranasal OXT (IOXT) were evaluated in 3 double-blind RCTs involving 85 subjects. A single dose of 24 IU reduced caloric intake by 122 kcal. The 24 IU 4-times daily dose for 8 weeks produced ~9-kg weight loss (Poxytocin OXTR = oxytocin receptor sOXT = serum oxytocin.

  6. Androgen receptor function links human sexual dimorphism to DNA methylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammerpohl, Ole; Bens, Susanne; Appari, Mahesh; Werner, Ralf; Korn, Bernhard; Drop, Stenvert L S; Verheijen, Frans; van der Zwan, Yvonne; Bunch, Trevor; Hughes, Ieuan; Cools, Martine; Riepe, Felix G; Hiort, Olaf; Siebert, Reiner; Holterhus, Paul-Martin

    2013-01-01

    Sex differences are well known to be determinants of development, health and disease. Epigenetic mechanisms are also known to differ between men and women through X-inactivation in females. We hypothesized that epigenetic sex differences may also result from sex hormone functions, in particular from long-lasting androgen programming. We aimed at investigating whether inactivation of the androgen receptor, the key regulator of normal male sex development, is associated with differences of the patterns of DNA methylation marks in genital tissues. To this end, we performed large scale array-based analysis of gene methylation profiles on genomic DNA from labioscrotal skin fibroblasts of 8 males and 26 individuals with androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) due to inactivating androgen receptor gene mutations. By this approach we identified differential methylation of 167 CpG loci representing 162 unique human genes. These were significantly enriched for androgen target genes and low CpG content promoter genes. Additional 75 genes showed a significant increase of heterogeneity of methylation in AIS compared to a high homogeneity in normal male controls. Our data show that normal and aberrant androgen receptor function is associated with distinct patterns of DNA-methylation marks in genital tissues. These findings support the concept that transcription factor binding to the DNA has an impact on the shape of the DNA methylome. These data which derived from a rare human model suggest that androgen programming of methylation marks contributes to sexual dimorphism in the human which might have considerable impact on the manifestation of sex-associated phenotypes and diseases.

  7. Androgen receptor function links human sexual dimorphism to DNA methylation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ole Ammerpohl

    Full Text Available Sex differences are well known to be determinants of development, health and disease. Epigenetic mechanisms are also known to differ between men and women through X-inactivation in females. We hypothesized that epigenetic sex differences may also result from sex hormone functions, in particular from long-lasting androgen programming. We aimed at investigating whether inactivation of the androgen receptor, the key regulator of normal male sex development, is associated with differences of the patterns of DNA methylation marks in genital tissues. To this end, we performed large scale array-based analysis of gene methylation profiles on genomic DNA from labioscrotal skin fibroblasts of 8 males and 26 individuals with androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS due to inactivating androgen receptor gene mutations. By this approach we identified differential methylation of 167 CpG loci representing 162 unique human genes. These were significantly enriched for androgen target genes and low CpG content promoter genes. Additional 75 genes showed a significant increase of heterogeneity of methylation in AIS compared to a high homogeneity in normal male controls. Our data show that normal and aberrant androgen receptor function is associated with distinct patterns of DNA-methylation marks in genital tissues. These findings support the concept that transcription factor binding to the DNA has an impact on the shape of the DNA methylome. These data which derived from a rare human model suggest that androgen programming of methylation marks contributes to sexual dimorphism in the human which might have considerable impact on the manifestation of sex-associated phenotypes and diseases.

  8. Anaphylactoid reaction to oxytocin during cesarean section.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawarabayashi, T; Narisawa, Y; Nakamura, K; Sugimori, H; Oda, M; Taniguchi, Y

    1988-01-01

    A case of an allergic reaction to synthetic oxytocin administered during cesarean section is reported. Epinephrine was more effective in improving the severe hypotension than ephedrine. The incidence of anaphylactoid reaction to oxytocin is very low, but this potential problem must always be kept in mind in daily obstetric practice.

  9. Serotonergic involvement in stress-induced vasopressin and oxytocin secretion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Henrik; Knigge, Ulrich; Kjaer, Andreas

    2002-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the involvement of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine - 5-HT) receptors in mediation of stress-induced arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT) secretion in male rats. DESIGN: Experiments on laboratory rats with control groups. METHODS: Different stress paradigms were...... applied after pretreatment with intracerebroventricular infusion of saline or different 5-HT antagonists. RESULTS: Restraint stress (5 min), hypotensive hemorrhage or dehydration for 24 h increased AVP secretion fivefold and OT secretion threefold. Swim stress for 3 min had no effect on AVP secretion...

  10. Dopamine Receptor Activation Increases HIV Entry into Primary Human Macrophages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskill, Peter J.; Yano, Hideaki H.; Kalpana, Ganjam V.; Javitch, Jonathan A.; Berman, Joan W.

    2014-01-01

    Macrophages are the p