Regulation of Oxytocin Secretion

Centre for Integrative Physiology, The University of Edinburgh College of Medicine and Veterinary Sciences, Edinburgh EH8 9XD, United Kingdom.
Vitamins & Hormones (Impact Factor: 2.04). 02/2005; 71:27-58. DOI: 10.1016/S0083-6729(05)71002-5
Source: PubMed


A baby sucks at a mother's breast for comfort and, of course, for milk. Milk is made in specialized cells of the mammary gland, and for a baby to feed, the milk must be released into a collecting chamber from where it can be extracted by sucking. Milk "let-down" is a reflex response to the suckling and kneading of the nipple--and sometimes in response to the sight, smell, and sound of the baby--and is ultimately affected by the secretion of oxytocin. Oxytocin has many physiological roles, but its only irreplaceable role is to mediate milk let-down: oxytocin-deficient mice cannot feed their young; the pups suckle but no milk is let down, and they will die unless cross-fostered. Most other physiological roles of oxytocin, including its role in parturition, are redundant in the sense that the roles can be assumed by other mechanisms in the absence of oxytocin throughout development and adult life. Nevertheless, physiological function in these roles can be altered or impaired by acute interventions that alter oxytocin secretion or change the actions of oxytocin. Here we focus on the diverse stimuli that regulate oxytocin secretion and on the apparent diversity of the roles for oxytocin.

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    • "Interestingly, the interaction occurring within the nucleus accumbens between the mesolimbic dopaminergic and oxytocinergic system was of crucial relevance in this behavior: drugs in prairie voles could reduce dopamine release after social interaction, and social interaction could reduce the reward from drugs. Moreover, it is well known that oxy acts on oxyrs in the medial preoptic area resulting in anLeng et al., 2005;Ross and Young, 2009;Bosch and Neumann, 2012Affiliative behavior ↑ ↑ ↑ ?Dantzer et al., 1987;Williams et al., 1994;Insel and Hulihan, 1995Sexual behavior ↑ ↔ ↓male ↑ or ↓ female ↑Carmichael et al., 1987;Carter, 1992;Anderson-Hunt andDennerstein, 1994, 1995;Melis et al., 2007;Baskerville et al., 2009;Gil et al., 2011;Lazzari et al., 2013Nociception ↓ ↓ ? ↓Yang, 1976;Lundeberg et al., 1993;Xu and Wiesenfeld-Hallin, 1994;Condés-Lara et al., 2005;Reeta et al., 2006;Gu and Yu, 2007;Yang et al., 2007a,b;Han and Yu, 2009;Mazzuca et al., 2011Social behavior ? "
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    ABSTRACT: Oxytocin (oxy) is a pituitary neuropeptide hormone synthesized from the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei within the hypothalamus. Like other neuropeptides, oxy can modulate a wide range of neurotransmitter and neuromodulator activities. Additionally, through the neurohypophysis, oxy is secreted into the systemic circulation to act as a hormone, thereby influencing several body functions. Oxy plays a pivotal role in parturition, milk let-down and maternal behavior and has been demonstrated to be important in the formation of pair bonding between mother and infants as well as in mating pairs. Furthermore, oxy has been proven to play a key role in the regulation of several behaviors associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, including social interactions, social memory response to social stimuli, decision-making in the context of social interactions, feeding behavior, emotional reactivity, etc. An increasing body of evidence suggests that deregulations of the oxytocinergic system might be involved in the pathophysiology of certain neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, eating disorders, schizophrenia, mood, and anxiety disorders. The potential use of oxy in these mental health disorders is attracting growing interest since numerous beneficial properties are ascribed to this neuropeptide. The present manuscript will review the existing findings on the role played by oxy in a variety of distinct physiological and behavioral functions (Figure 1) and on its role and impact in different psychiatric disorders. The aim of this review is to highlight the need of further investigations on this target that might contribute to the development of novel more efficacious therapies. Figure 1Oxytocin regulatory control of different and complex processes.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Frontiers in Neuroscience
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    • " memories ( Wacker and Ludwig , 2012 ) . Pheromones and olfactory cues may be critical for mammalian maternal behavior through modulation of the neuroendocrine system ( Lévy et al . , 2004 ; Sanchez - Andrade and Kendrick , 2009 ; Schaal , 2010 ) . Milk secretion is triggered by oxytocin in response to the sight , sound and smell of human babies ( Leng et al . , 2005 ) . While not lactating , female rodents find the odor of pups aversive , while after parturition and during lactation , the same stimulus results in a potent approaching trigger . Furthermore , in rodents mother - child individual recognition seems to depend exclusively on the main olfactory system , and the main olfactory bulb undergo"
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    ABSTRACT: There are remarkable similarities between the brains of mammals and birds in terms of microcircuit architecture, despite obvious differences in gross morphology and development. While in reptiles and birds the most expanding component (the dorsal ventricular ridge) displays an overall nuclear shape and derives from the lateral and ventral pallium, in mammals a dorsal pallial, six-layered isocortex shows the most remarkable elaboration. Regardless of discussions about possible homologies between mammalian and avian brains, a main question remains in explaining the emergence of the mammalian isocortex, because it represents a unique phenotype across amniotes. In this article, we propose that the origin of the isocortex was driven by behavioral adaptations involving olfactory driven goal-directed and navigating behaviors. These adaptations were linked with increasing sensory development, which provided selective pressure for the expansion of the dorsal pallium. The latter appeared as an interface in olfactory-hippocampal networks, contributing somatosensory information for navigating behavior. Sensory input from other modalities like vision and audition were subsequently recruited into this expanding region, contributing to multimodal associative networks.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Frontiers in Neuroscience
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    • "Until recently, oxytocin, the neurohypophysial neuropeptide , has been known for its pivotal role in the progress of parturition and initiation of milk ejection (Russell et al. 2003; Leng et al. 2005). The regulatory spectrum of oxytocin is now known to be substantially wider. "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study was aimed at determining the role of centrally released oxytocin in regulation of blood pressure and heart rate (HR) under resting conditions and during an acute air-jet stress in rats with a myocardial infarction and controls infarcted. Four weeks after ligation of a coronary artery or sham surgery, conscious Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to one of the following intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusions: (1) 0.9% NaCl (control), (2) oxytocin, (3) oxytocin receptor antagonist {desGly-NH(2)-d(CH(2))(5)[D-Tyr(2)Thr(4)]OVT}(OXYANT). Resting arterial blood pressure and HR were not affected by any of the ICV infusions either in the infarcted or sham-operated rats. In the control experiments, the pressor and tachycardic responses to the air jet of infarcted rats were significantly greater than in the sham-operated rats. OXYANT significantly enhanced the cardiovascular responses to stress only in the sham-operated rats whereas oxytocin significantly attenuated both responses in the infarcted but not in the sham-operated rats. The results suggest that centrally released endogenous oxytocin significantly reduces the cardiovascular responses to the acute stressor in control rats. This buffering function of the brain-oxytocin system is not efficient during the post-myocardial infarction state, however it may be restored by central administration of exogenous oxytocin.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
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