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oxytocin, brain

Riccardo Dore, Luka Levata, Hendrik Lehnert, Carla Schulz
Nesfatin-1 was identified in 2006 as a potent anorexigenic peptide involved in the regulation of homeostatic feeding. It is processed from the precursor-peptide NEFA/nucleobindin 2 (NUCB2) which is expressed both in the central nervous system as well as in the periphery, from where it can access the brain via non-saturable transmembrane diffusion. In hypothalamus and brainstem, nesfatin-1 recruits the oxytocin-, the melancortin- and other systems to relay its anorexigenic properties. NUCB2/nesfatin-1 peptide expression in reward-related areas suggests that nesfatin-1 might also be involved in hedonic feeding...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Endocrinology
R Hurlemann, N Marsh
Numerous honorary initiatives for humanitarian aid towards refugees illustrate the high prevalence of altruistic behavior in the population. In medicine, an exquisite example of a human propensity for altruism is organ donation. Current perspectives on the neurobiology of altruism suggest that it is deeply rooted in the motivational architecture of the social brain. This is reflected by the social evolution of cooperation and parochialism, both of which are modulated by the evolutionarily conserved peptide hormone oxytocin...
October 17, 2016: Der Nervenarzt
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
Callum Hicks, Linnet Ramos, Bruno Dampney, Sarah J Baracz, Iain S McGregor, Glenn E Hunt
Peripherally administered oxytocin induces a wide range of behavioural and physiological effects that are thought to be mediated by the oxytocin receptor (OTR). However, oxytocin also has considerable affinity for the vasopressin 1A receptor (V1AR), such that various oxytocinergic effects may in fact be mediated by the V1AR rather than the OTR. Here we used c-Fos immunohistochemistry to determine the extent to which the regional pattern of neuronal activation produced by peripheral oxytocin involves the V1AR...
October 8, 2016: Brain Research Bulletin
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
Mitsunari Nakajima, Takashi Watanabe, Rui Aoki, Risei Shimizu, Satoshi Okuyama, Yoshiko Furukawa
Wnt1-Cre- and Wnt1-GAL4 double transgenic (dTg) mice are used to study neural crest cell lineages by utilizing either the Cre/loxP or the GAL4/UAS system. We have previously shown that these mice exhibit behavioral abnormalities that resemble certain behaviors of psychiatric disorders and histologic alterations in the cholinergic and glutamatergic systems in the brain. The objective of the current study was to extend the behavioral analyses in these mice and to determine whether there were any sex-specific differences in the prevalence or severity of these behaviors...
September 27, 2016: Brain Research
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
Nobuyoshi Matsumoto, Kazuki Okamoto, Yuki Takagi, Yuji Ikegaya
The CA2 region is unique in the hippocampus; it receives direct synaptic innervations from several hypothalamic nuclei and expresses various receptors of neuromodulators, including adenosine, vasopressin, and oxytocin. Furthermore, the CA2 region may have distinct brain functions, such as the control of instinctive and social behaviors; however, little is known about the dynamics of the subthreshold membrane potentials of CA2 neurons in vivo. We conducted whole-cell current-clamp recordings from CA2 pyramidal cells in urethane-anesthetized mice and monitored the intrinsic fluctuations in their membrane potentials...
September 20, 2016: Hippocampus
Zhimin Song, Johnathan M Borland, Tony E Larkin, Maureen O'Malley, H Elliott Albers
Social reward plays a fundamental role in shaping human and animal behavior. The rewarding nature of many forms of social behavior including sexual behavior, parental behavior, and social play has been revealed using well-established procedures such as the conditioned place preference test. Many motivated social behaviors are regulated by the nonapeptides oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) through their actions in multiple brain structures. Interestingly, there are few data on whether OT or AVP might contribute to the rewarding properties of social interaction by their actions within brain structures that play a key role in reward mechanisms such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA)...
September 9, 2016: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Bianca J Marlin, Robert C Froemke
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...
September 14, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Lisa A Parr, Jenna M Brooks, Trina Jonesteller, Shannon Moss, James O Jordano, Thomas R Heitz
Studies in a variety of species have reported enhanced prosocial effects after an acute administration of the neuromodulating hormone, oxytocin (OT). Although the exact mechanisms underlying these effects are not fully understood, there is broad interest in developing OT into a treatment for social deficits. Only a few studies, however, have examined the effects of OT if given repeatedly during early development, the period when early intervention is likely to have the greatest benefits for reversing the progression towards social impairment...
August 31, 2016: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Brian J Mickey, Joseph Heffernan, Curtis Heisel, Marta Peciña, David T Hsu, Jon-Kar Zubieta, Tiffany M Love
RATIONALE: Oxytocin is a neuropeptide widely recognized for its role in regulating social and reproductive behavior. Increasing evidence from animal models suggests that oxytocin also modulates reward circuitry in non-social contexts, but evidence in humans is lacking. OBJECTIVES: We examined the effects of oxytocin administration on reward circuit function in 18 healthy men as they performed a monetary incentive task. METHODS: The blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging in the context of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of intranasal oxytocin...
September 10, 2016: Psychopharmacology
Colm M P O'Tuathaigh, Fabio Fumagalli, Lieve Desbonnet, Francesc Perez-Branguli, Gerard Moloney, Samim Loftus, Claire O'Leary, Emilie Petit, Rachel Cox, Orna Tighe, Gerard Clarke, Donna Lai, Richard P Harvey, John F Cryan, Kevin J Mitchell, Timothy G Dinan, Marco A Riva, John L Waddington
Few studies have addressed likely gene × gene (ie, epistatic) interactions in mediating risk for schizophrenia. Using a preclinical genetic approach, we investigated whether simultaneous disruption of the risk factors Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) and Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) would produce a disease-relevant phenotypic profile different from that observed following disruption to either gene alone. NRG1 heterozygotes exhibited hyperactivity and disruption to prepulse inhibition, both reversed by antipsychotic treatment, and accompanied by reduced striatal dopamine D2 receptor protein expression, impaired social cognition, and altered glutamatergic synaptic protein expression in selected brain areas...
September 9, 2016: Schizophrenia Bulletin
Tatiane Vilhena-Franco, André Souza Mecawi, Lucila Leico Kagohara Elias, José Antunes-Rodrigues
Water deprivation (WD) induces changes in plasma volume and osmolality, which in turn activate several responses, including thirst, the activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT) secretion. These systems seem to be influenced by oestradiol, as evidenced by the expression of its receptor in brain areas that control fluid balance. Thus, we investigated the effects of oestradiol treatment on behavioural and neuroendocrine changes of ovariectomized rats in response to WD...
September 9, 2016: Journal of Endocrinology
Sara Sannino, Bice Chini, Valery Grinevich
The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) is a forefront molecule among neuropeptides due to its pronounced pro-social effects and its potential use in socio-emotional deficits that characterize the most prevalent neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders (autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia). The effects of OT have been studied in young and adult subjects (either animals or humans), while the complete lifespan trajectories of OT system development and activity have been far less investigated. In this (mini) review, we will primarily focus on three temporal distinct periods of life - early postnatal period, puberty/adolescence and elderly...
September 7, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
Sohye Kim, Lane Strathearn
Although dramatic postnatal changes in maternal behavior have long been noted, we are only now beginning to understand the neurobiological mechanisms that support this transition. The present paper synthesizes growing insights from both animal and human research to provide an overview of the plasticity of the mother's brain, with a particular emphasis on the oxytocin system. We examine plasticity observed within the oxytocin system and discuss how these changes mediate an array of other adaptations observed within the maternal brain...
September 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Sheryl E Arambula, Scott M Belcher, Antonio Planchart, Stephen D Turner, Heather B Patisaul
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting, high volume production chemical found in a variety of products. Evidence of prenatal exposure has raised concerns that developmental BPA may disrupt sex-specific brain organization and, consequently, induce lasting changes on neurophysiology and behavior. We and others have shown that exposure to BPA at doses below the no-observed-adverse-effect level can disrupt the sex-specific expression of estrogen-responsive genes in the neonatal rat brain including estrogen receptors (ERs)...
October 2016: Endocrinology
Jonathan W Paul, Susan Hua, Marina Ilicic, Jorge M Tolosa, Trent Butler, Sarah Robertson, Roger Smith
BACKGROUND: 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...
August 24, 2016: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Josi Maria Zimmermann-Peruzatto, Virgínia Meneghini Lazzari, Grasiela Agnes, Roberta Oriques Becker, Ana Carolina de Moura, Renata Padilha Guedes, Aldo Bolten Lucion, Silvana Almeida, Márcia Giovenardi
Social relations are built and maintained from the interaction among individuals. The oxytocin (OT), vasopressin (VP), estrogen, dopamine, and their receptors are involved in the modulation of sexual behavior in females. This study aimed to analyze the impact of OT gene knockout (OTKO) on sexual behavior and the gene expression of oxytocin (OTR), estrogen alpha (ERα), estrogen beta (ERβ), vasopressin (V1aR), and dopamine (D2R) receptors in the olfactory bulb (OB), prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus (HPC), and hypothalamus (HPT), as well as in the synthesis of VP in the HPT of female mice...
August 24, 2016: Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
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
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