Three groups of mice were individually placed in cages with aggressive mice and experienced social defeat, a stressful experience for them. One group was missing its oxytocin receptors, essentially the plug by which the hormone accesses brain cells. The lack of receptors means oxytocin couldn't enter the mice's brain cells. The second group had an increased number of receptors so their brain cells were flooded with the hormone. The third control group had a normal number of receptors.
Oxytocin is not only correlated with the preferences of individuals to associate with members of their own group, but it is also evident during conflicts between members of different groups. During conflict, individuals receiving nasally administered oxytocin demonstrate more frequent defense-motivated responses toward in-group members than out-group members. Further, oxytocin was correlated with participant desire to protect vulnerable in-group members, despite that individual's attachment to the conflict. Similarly, it has been demonstrated that when oxytocin is administered, individuals alter their subjective preferences in order to align with in-group ideals over out-group ideals. These studies demonstrate that oxytocin is associated with intergroup dynamics. Further, oxytocin influences the responses of individuals in a particular group to those of another group. The in-group bias is evident in smaller groups; however, it can also be extended to groups as large as one's entire country leading toward a tendency of strong national zeal. A study done in the Netherlands showed that oxytocin increased the in-group favoritism of their nation while decreasing acceptance of members of other ethnicities and foreigners. People also show more affection for their country's flag while remaining indifferent to other cultural objects when exposed to oxytocin. It has thus been hypothesized that this hormone may be a factor in xenophobic tendencies secondary to this effect. Thus, oxytocin appears to affect individuals at an international level where the in-group becomes a specific "home" country and the out-group grows to include all other countries.
All of this becomes heavily ironic when you consider that the chemical in question – a hormone called oxytocin – is often billed as the “hormone of love”, and even marketed as “Liquid Trust”. As a new study shows, the reality is much more complicated. Describing oxytocin as the “hormone of love” is like describing a computer as a “writing tool” – it does other things too, some of which aren’t pleasant.
Autism. A 1998 study found significantly lower levels of oxytocin in blood plasma of autistic children.7 A 2003 study found a decrease in autism spectrum repetitive behaviors when oxytocin was administered intravenously.8 A 2007 study reported that oxytocin helped autistic adults retain the ability to evaluate the emotional significance of speech intonation.9
There are several layers in the skin; the outer epidermis and beneath it the dermis and the subcutaneous layer. Cells in the epidermis include keratinocytes, its major cell type, that move continuously from the lower basal layer where they are formed by cell division. Other cells in the epidermis are the melanocytes that synthesize pigment and transfer it to the keratinocytes, giving our skin its color, and a wide variety of immune cells that maintain immune surveillance and secrete substances called cytokines, like interleukin 1 and 2, which are active in inflammation. The dermis contains connective tissue, mainly collagen, blood vessels, various types of immune white cells and fibroblasts.
Melanotan II is a synthetic hormone that speeds up the production of melanin, the pigment that absorbs ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. It was originally developed as a potential treatment for female sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction, but this research ceased in 2003. In technical terms, Melanotan II is a synthetic analogue of the peptide hormone α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH). Today, there are numbers of sellers on the internet of unlicensed and untested powders sold as Melanotan II.
Cardiac effects: oxytocin and oxytocin receptors are also found in the heart in some rodents, and the hormone may play a role in the embryonal development of the heart by promoting cardiomyocyte differentiation. However, the absence of either oxytocin or its receptor in knockout mice has not been reported to produce cardiac insufficiencies.
First, dietary supplements are not regulated as drugs in the US, and the careful testing and quality control that are required of prescription drugs do not apply to supplements like 5-HTP. This is why serious adverse effects and major outbreaks, like the one associated with tryptophan, can occur. You can minimize this risk by using only USP-Verified supplements.
Growth factors play an important role is enhancing structural repair of chronic wounds (Robson, 1997). KGF-2 (Robson et al., 2001), TGF-β (Robson et al., 1995), PDGF-BB (Mustoe et al., 1994; Kiritsy et al., 1995; Smiell et al., 1999), β-NGF (Muangman et al., 2004) have been shown to enhance re-epithelialization (Greenalgh, 1996 for review). The KGF-1 gene has been shown to improve cutaneous wound healing in a septic rat model when delivered in a plasmid (Lin et al., 2006). The PDGF-B gene carried in a plasmid mixed with a bovine collagen gel was reported to accelerate closure of patient diabetic ulcers (Mulder et al., 2009; Blume et al., 2011). KGF-2, PDGF-BB and FGF-L are commercially available as RepiferminTM, RegranexTM, and Trafermin to treat human chronic wounds. Data for the effects of PDGF-BB on back wounds of diabetic mice and for the effects of KGF-2 on chronic venous ulcers in patients is tabulated in Tables 10.3 and 10.4. Thymosin β4 accelerated keratinocyte migration in the wounds of old diabetic mice (Philp et al., 2003).
We have evaluated the efficacy of early Tβ4 treatment on spatial learning and sensorimotor functional recovery in rats after TBI induced by unilateral CCI.34 In brief, TBI rats received Tβ4 at a dose of either 6 or 30 mg/kg (RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals Inc, Rockville, MD) or a vehicle control (saline) administered i.p. starting at 6 hours after injury and then at 24 and 48 hours. Spatial learning was performed during the last five days (31-35 days post injury) using the modified Morris water maze (MWM) test, which is extremely sensitive to the hippocampal injury.35-37 Tβ4-treated TBI rats showed significant improvement in spatial learning when compared to the saline-treated TBI rats. Tβ4 treatment also significantly reduced the swim latency to reach the hidden platform by rats post TBI compared to saline treatment. Using the modified Neurological Severity Score (mNSS) test, our data show that significantly improved scores were observed after TBI in the Tβ4-treated group compared to the saline-treated group. Our data also show that Tβ4 reduced the incidence of both right forelimb and hindlimb footfaults in TBI rats.34 Histological data show that early Tβ4 treatment reduced cortical lesion volume by 20% and 30% for 6 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg, respectively, and reduced hippocampal cell loss. These findings suggest that TB4 provides neuroprotection even when the treatment was initiated 6 hours post injury. In addition, 6-hour Tβ4 treatment promotes neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus,38 which may contribute to improvement in spatial learning.
Adam Guastella, a clinical psychologist at University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute, and a pioneer in studies of how oxytocin can help people with autism, thinks the hormone can also help people in couple therapy by facilitating empathic communication. His research has shown that people who get oxytocin are more focused on positive emotion: they remember happy faces better than angry and neutral ones. Research by others has shown that oxytocin increases trust, generosity and our ability to identify emotion in facial expressions. It is perhaps by these mechanisms that the hormone improves communication.
To determine whether MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways were involved in the anti-osteoclastogenic function of Tβ4, the effect of Tβ4 peptide on the phosphorylation levels of ERK, JNK, and p38 MAPK(s) as well as the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 in RANKL-stimulated BMMs were examined. As shown in Fig 8B, Tβ4 peptide inhibited the RANKL-induced phosphorylation of p38, ERK, and JNK and nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65.
Cells that line blood vessels (endothelial cells), taken from human umbilical chord veins, were grown in culture and the layer of cells subjected to a scratch wound. Cultures were then treated with Tb4 or kept in growth medium without Tb4. When examined four hours later, Tb4 treatment attracted cells to migrate into the wound and accelerated their movement, showing it is a chemoattractant. Cell migration was four to six times faster in the presence of Tb4 compared to the migration of untreated cells. Tb4 also hastened wound closure and increased the production of enzymes, called metalloproteases, that could pave the way for angiogenesis by breaking down barrier membranes and facilitating the invasion of new cells to the needy area, to form new vessels. Other experiments showed Tb4 acts in vivo. When endothelial cells were implanted under the skin in a gel supplemented with Tb4, the cells formed vessel-like structures containing red blood cells, indicating the ability to stimulate angiogenesis in the animals.
High and low oxytocin levels are possible, but research has not yet found any implications of these conditions. Men with high levels of oxytocin sometimes develop benign prostatic hyperplasia, or the enlarging of the prostate gland. This condition can cause urinary complaints. A lack of oxytocin can prevent the milk letdown reflex and make breastfeeding difficult. Low oxytocin levels have also been linked to depression, but using oxytocin to treat mental health conditions has not yet been studied sufficiently.
If you were to go on the internet, read the hype, you'd probably think it'll be something like having an ecstasy tablet or having an orgasm or something like that, but the reality is you probably wouldn't be able to distinguish it from placebo. So the effects are extremely subtle. Now, that subtlety isn't necessarily because of oxytocin itself being a subtle hormone, it's just this issue of it penetrating the brain. So when you take it intranasally, we're still trying to work out how much gets into the brain, but probably only a vanishingly small amount.
Dr Sohère Roked is a GP in the UK with a specialist interest in integrative medicine. She prescribes 5-HTP to patients with anxiety and depression, alongside vitamins and other natural supplements, and sees no problem with it being used for mild conditions. "With the patients I see, generally I've seen good results with it. Antidepressants do work for some people, so I'm not against them completely, but others don't want to go down that path straight away. This gives them another option."
Jump up ^ Rondanelli M, Opizzi A, Faliva M, Bucci M, Perna S (March 2012). "Relationship between the absorption of 5-hydroxytryptophan from an integrated diet, by means of Griffonia simplicifolia extract, and the effect on satiety in overweight females after oral spray administration". Eating and Weight Disorders. 17 (1): e22–8. doi:10.3275/8165. PMID 22142813.