The biologically active form of oxytocin, commonly measured by RIA and/or HPLC techniques, is also known as the octapeptide "oxytocin disulfide" (oxidized form), but oxytocin also exists as a reduced straight-chain (non-cyclic) dithiol nonapeptide called oxytoceine. It has been theorized that oxytoceine may act as a free radical scavenger, as donating an electron to a free radical allows oxytoceine to be re-oxidized to oxytocin via the dehydroascorbate / ascorbate redox couple.
Milk ejection reflex/Letdown reflex: in lactating (breastfeeding) mothers, oxytocin acts at the mammary glands, causing milk to be 'let down' into subareolar sinuses, from where it can be excreted via the nipple. Suckling by the infant at the nipple is relayed by spinal nerves to the hypothalamus. The stimulation causes neurons that make oxytocin to fire action potentials in intermittent bursts; these bursts result in the secretion of pulses of oxytocin from the neurosecretory nerve terminals of the pituitary gland.
Letdown reflex. In lactating (breastfeeding) mothers, oxytocin acts at the mammary glands, causing milk to be ‘let down’ into a collecting chamber, from where it can be extracted by compressing the areola and sucking at the nipple. Sucking by the infant at the nipple is relayed by spinal nerves to the hypothalamus. The stimulation causes neurons that make oxytocin to fire action potentials in intermittent bursts; these bursts result in the secretion of pulses of oxytocin from the neurosecretory nerve terminals of the pituitary gland.
Oxytocin in a nine amino acid peptide that is synthesized in hypothalamic neurons and transported down axons of the posterior pituitary for secretion into blood. Oxytocin is also secreted within the brain and from a few other tissues, including the ovaries and testes. Oxytocin differs from antidiuretic hormone in two of the nine amino acids. Both hormones are packaged into granules and secreted along with carrier proteins called neurophysins.
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But returning hunters also need to share meat with their families and friends; this is where oxytocin comes into play. It can help overcome the potentially negative social effects of testosterone. Men who were absent for longer seem to need more oxytocin to reconnect with their families; it seems that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder, via an oxytocin blast.
Studies on diabetic rats indicated significant increases in the amount of collagen and in tensile strength of light-treated wounds over controls (Stadler et al., 2001; Reddy et al., 2001). In combination with hyperbaric oxygen, light-treated skin wounds in rats closed faster (Yu et al., 1997), an effect that was associated with a more uniform rise and fall in VEGF and FGF-2 instead of the sharp peaks at day four and subsequent rapid drop-off observed in control wounds (Whelan et al., 2001). In vitro, proliferation of mouse fibroblasts was increased by over 150% and that of human epithelial cells by 155–171% (Whelan et al., 2001). Whelan et al. (2001) also reported that wound-healing time was decreased by 50% aboard a submarine, where the atmosphere is lower in oxygen and higher in carbon dioxide, and that children suffering from oral mucositis as a result of chemotherapy experienced a 47% reduction in pain. Recently, however, a randomized trial using a 980 nm diode laser to treat venous leg ulcers of 18 patients indicated no difference in reduction of ulcer size compared to the 16 control patients (Leclere et al., 2010).
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