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Maria R Rebordão, António Galvão, Pedro Pinto-Bravo, Joana Pinheiro, Sandra Gamboa, Elisabete Silva, Luísa Mateus, Graça Ferreira-Dias
Oxytocin (OXT) has been used to prolong the luteal phase in mares, but its mechanism of action is unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of chronic exogenous OXT administration to mid-luteal phase mares on luteal maintenance. Also, endometrial expression of prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2), prostaglandin F2α, E2 and I2 synthases (AKR1C3, PTGES, and PTGIS), oxytocin receptor (OXTR), progesterone receptor (PGR), and estrogen receptors 1 (ESR1) and 2 (ESR2) were assessed in mares experiencing luteal maintenance 2 weeks after chronic exogenous OXT administration...
September 8, 2016: Theriogenology
Shota Nishitani, Kazuya Ikematsu, Tsunehiko Takamura, Sumihisa Honda, Koh-Ichiro Yoshiura, Kazuyuki Shinohara
There is extensive evidence in animal studies, particularly in vole species (Microtus), that oxytocin (OT) receptor and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) receptor 1a is critical for the regulation of maternal and paternal behavior, respectively. Human studies have gained insight into the relationship between both hormone receptor gene variants and behavior, but not between the variants and the underlying brain activity. To study this, we investigated the association between neural activation of the anterior prefrontal cortex (APFC) in mothers and fathers in response to their child smiling video stimuli to induce the positive affect related to attachment with their child, and genetic variants of OT receptor (OXTR) and AVP receptor 1A (AVPR1A)...
October 12, 2016: Hormones and Behavior
Roshan R Naik, Trynke R de Jong
Motherhood brings about a multitude of behavioral and physiological changes in dams and some of these persist until after weaning. We studied behavioral changes associated with reproductive experience at lactating day (LD)8, at weaning (LD21), and 28 days post-weaning (PW28) compared to nulliparous (NP) females. Furthermore, in another cohort of animals, we quantified mRNA expression of five target genes known to be associated with maternal experience: arginin-vasopressin(Avp) and its 1A receptor(Avpr1a), oxytocin(Oxt) and its receptor(Oxtr), and corticotropin-releasing hormone(Crh) in three key maternal region: the medial preoptic area (MPOA), bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus(PVN)...
September 26, 2016: European Journal of Neuroscience
Mariliis Vaht, Triin Kurrikoff, Kariina Laas, Toomas Veidebaum, Jaanus Harro
BACKGROUND: Oxytocin is an important regulator of social relationships and has been implicated in development of substance use and addiction. We examined the association of a variance in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR rs53576 polymorphism) with alcohol use in a population-representative sample, and potential moderation by social functioning. METHODS: The analysis was carried out on the older birth cohort of the longitudinal Estonian Children Personality Behaviour and Health Study (ECPBHS), a cohort of initially 15 years old children (original n=593) recalled at ages 18 and 25...
September 25, 2016: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Lars Westberg, Susanne Henningsson, Anna Zettergren, Joakim Svärd, Daniel Hovey, Tian Lin, Natalie C Ebner, Håkan Fischer
The ability to recognize faces is crucial for daily social interactions. Recent studies suggest that intranasal oxytocin administration improves social recognition in humans. Oxytocin signaling in the amygdala plays an essential role for social recognition in mice, and oxytocin administration has been shown to influence amygdala activity in humans. It is therefore possible that the effects of oxytocin on human social recognition depend on mechanisms that take place in the amygdala-a central region for memory processing also in humans...
2016: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Zaira Cattaneo, Roberta Daini, Manuela Malaspina, Federico Manai, Mariarita Lillo, Valentina Fermi, Susanna Schiavi, Boris Suchan, Sergio Comincini
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...
September 28, 2016: Neuroscience
M Hamza, S Halayem, R Mrad, S Bourgou, F Charfi, A Belhadj
BACKGROUND: The etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is complex and multifactorial, and the roles of genetic and environmental factors in its emergence have been well documented. Current research tends to indicate that these two factors act in a synergistic manner. The processes underlying this interaction are still poorly known, but epigenetic modifications could be the mediator in the gene/environment interface. The epigenetic mechanisms have been implicated in susceptibility to stress and also in the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders including depression and schizophrenia...
September 27, 2016: L'Encéphale
Kun Li, Miho Nakajima, Ines Ibañez-Tallon, Nathaniel Heintz
The frequency of human social and emotional disorders varies significantly between males and females. We have recently reported that oxytocin receptor interneurons (OxtrINs) modulate female sociosexual behavior. Here, we show that, in male mice, OxtrINs regulate anxiety-related behaviors. We demonstrate that corticotropin-releasing-hormone-binding protein (CRHBP), an antagonist of the stress hormone CRH, is specifically expressed in OxtrINs. Production of CRHBP blocks the CRH-induced potentiation of postsynaptic layer 2/3 pyramidal cell activity of male, but not female, mice, thus producing an anxiolytic effect...
September 22, 2016: Cell
Jianjun Gao, Lea K Davis, Amy B Hart, Sandra Sanchez-Roige, Lide Han, John T Cacioppo, Abraham A Palmer
Loneliness is a complex biological trait that has been associated with numerous negative health outcomes. The measurement and environmental determinants of loneliness are well understood, but its genetic basis is not. Previous studies have estimated the heritability of loneliness between 37 and 55% using twins and family-based approaches, and have explored the role of specific candidate genes. We used genotypic and phenotypic data from 10 760 individuals aged ⩾50 years that were collected by the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to perform the first genome-wide association study of loneliness...
October 12, 2016: Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
K Tombeau Cost, E Unternaehrer, A Plamondon, M Steiner, M Meaney, L Atkinson, J L Kennedy, A S Fleming
Animal and human studies suggest that initial expression of maternal behaviour depends on oxytocin and dopamine systems. However, the mechanism by which these systems affect parenting behaviours and the timing of these effects are not well understood. This article explores the role of mothers' executive function in mediating the relation between oxytocin and dopamine gene variants and maternal responsiveness at 48 months post-partum. Participants (n = 157) were mothers recruited in the Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment Study, which assesses longitudinally two cohorts of mothers and children in Canada...
September 13, 2016: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Kory Floyd, Mark Alan Generous, Lou Clark, Ian McLeod, Albert Simon
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...
September 9, 2016: Health Communication
Pedro Vargas-Pinilla, Paul Babb, Leandro Nunes, Pâmela Paré, Gabrielle Rosa, Aline Felkl, Dânae Longo, Francisco M Salzano, Vanessa R Paixão-Côrtes, Gislene Lopes Gonçalves, Maria Cátira Bortolini
Paternal care is a complex social behavior common in primate species with socially monogamous mating systems and twin births. Evolutionary causes and consequences of such behavior are not well understood, nor are their neuroendocrine and genetic bases. However, the neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) and its receptor (OXTR) are associated with parental care in mammalian lineages. Here we investigated the interspecific variation in the number of progesterone response elements (PREs) in the OXTR promoter region of 32 primate species, correlating genetic data with behavior, social systems, and ecological/life-history parameters, while controlling for phylogeny...
August 25, 2016: Behavior Genetics
Beata Joanna Kasperek-Zimowska, Janusz Grzegorz Zimowski, Katarzyna Biernacka, Katarzyna Kucharska-Pietura, Filip Rybakowski
A growing number of publications indicates presence of significant deficits in social cognition in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN). These deficits appear to be comparable in qualitative and quantitative dimension with impairment of the same functions among people with Asperger syndrome (AS). The aim of this study is to identify subject areas in the field of impairment of social cognition processes among people with Asperger syndrome and anorexia nervosa taking into consideration the potential contribution of genetic pathways of oxytocin and vasopressin in the pathogenesis of these diseases...
2016: Psychiatria Polska
H Kosaka, Y Okamoto, T Munesue, H Yamasue, K Inohara, T Fujioka, T Anme, M Orisaka, M Ishitobi, M Jung, T X Fujisawa, S Tanaka, S Arai, M Asano, D N Saito, N Sadato, A Tomoda, M Omori, M Sato, H Okazawa, H Higashida, Y Wada
Recent studies have suggested that long-term oxytocin administration can alleviate the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, factors influencing its efficacy are still unclear. We conducted a single-center phase 2, pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, clinical trial in young adults with high-functioning ASD, to determine whether oxytocin dosage and genetic background of the oxytocin receptor affects oxytocin efficacy. This trial consisted of double-blind (12 weeks), open-label (12 weeks) and follow-up phases (8 weeks)...
2016: Translational Psychiatry
Suzannah F Isgett, Sara B Algoe, Aaron J Boulton, Baldwin M Way, Barbara L Fredrickson
Ample research suggests that social connection reliably generates positive emotions. Oxytocin, a neuropeptide implicated in social cognition and behavior, is one biological mechanism that may influence an individual's capacity to extract positive emotions from social contexts. Because variation in certain genes may indicate underlying neurobiological differences, we tested whether several SNPs in two genes related to oxytocin signaling would show effects on positive emotions that were context-specific, depending on sociality...
November 2016: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Alexandra Lesse, Kathy Rether, Nicole Gröger, Katharina Braun, Jörg Bock
Chronic stress (CS) during early life represents a major risk factor for the development of mental disorders, including depression. According to the Two/Multiple-Hit hypothesis, the etiology of neuropsychiatric disorders usually involves multiple stressors experienced subsequently during different phases of life. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms modulating neuronal and behavioral changes induced by multiple stress experiences are just poorly understood. Since the oxytocinergic and vasopressinergic systems are neuroendocrine modulators involved in environmentally driven adaptations of stress sensitivity we hypothesized that postnatal CS programs oxytocinergic and vasopressinergic receptor expression changes in response to a second stress exposure in young adulthood...
August 15, 2016: Molecular Neurobiology
Jolien Rijlaarsdam, Marinus H van IJzendoorn, Frank C Verhulst, Vincent W V Jaddoe, Janine F Felix, Henning Tiemeier, Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg
LAY ABSTRACT: The gene encoding the oxytocin receptor (OXTR), localized on chromosome 3p25, is considered a promising candidate for explaining genetic vulnerability to autistic traits. Although several lines of evidence implicate OXTR SNP rs53576 (G/A) variation in social behavior, findings have been inconsistent, possibly because DNA methylation after stress exposure was eliminated from consideration. This study investigated the main and interactive effects of OXTR rs53576 genotype, stress exposure, and OXTR methylation on child autistic traits...
August 13, 2016: Autism Research: Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research
Heather K Caldwell, Elizabeth A Aulino, Angela R Freeman, Travis V Miller, Shannah K Witchey
It is well established that the nonapeptide oxytocin (Oxt) is important for the neural modulation of behaviors in many mammalian species. Since its discovery in 1906 and synthesis in the early 1950s, elegant pharmacological work has helped identify specific neural substrates on which Oxt exerts its effects. More recently, mice with targeted genetic disruptions of the Oxt system, i.e. both the peptide and its receptor (the Oxtr), have further defined Oxt's actions and laid some important scientific groundwork for studies in other species...
August 11, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Pamela Paré, Vanessa R Paixão-Côrtes, Luciana Tovo-Rodrigues, Pedro Vargas-Pinilla, Lucas Henriques Viscardi, Francisco Mauro Salzano, Luiz E Henkes, Maria Catira Bortolini
Oxytocin receptor (OXTR) and arginine vasopressin receptors (AVPR1a, AVPR1b, and AVPR2) are paralogous genes that emerged through duplication events; along the evolutionary timeline, owing to speciation, numerous orthologues emerged as well. In order to elucidate the evolutionary forces that shaped these four genes in placental mammals and to reveal specific aspects of their protein structures, 35 species were selected. Specifically, we investigated their molecular evolutionary history and intrinsic protein disorder content, and identified the presence of short linear interaction motifs...
August 8, 2016: Genetics and Molecular Biology
Sally A Mayasich, Lynne T Bemis, Benjamin L Clarke
The jawless vertebrate sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) genome has a different structure from both invertebrates and jawed vertebrates featuring high guanine-cytosine (GC) content. This raises the question of whether DNA methylation of cytosine-guanine (CpG) dinucleotides could function to regulate lamprey gene transcription. We previously characterized a lamprey arginine vasotocin (AVT) receptor gene (Pm807) possessing characteristics of both arginine vasopressin (AVP) V1A and oxytocin (OXT) receptor genes of jawed vertebrates...
August 3, 2016: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
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