To determine the effects of Tβ4 peptide and H2O2 on cytotoxicity, its cell viability was evaluated. A 48-h exposure to 0.1–5 μg/mL Tβ4 peptide did not affect H2O2-mediated cell viabilities (Fig 2A). In order to examine whether Tβ4 peptide suppressed ROS-induced inflammatory mediators, the ability of Tβ4 peptide on production of NO and PGE2, and expressions of COX-2 and iNOS were measured by RT-PCR, Western blot, and ELISA. Pretreatment with Tβ4 peptide dose-dependently inhibited H2O2-induced mRNA and protein expressions of COX-2 and iNOS, and NO and PGE2 production (Fig 2B–2E).
Uterine contraction: important for cervical dilation before birth, oxytocin causes contractions during the second and third stages of labor. Oxytocin release during breastfeeding causes mild but often painful contractions during the first few weeks of lactation. This also serves to assist the uterus in clotting the placental attachment point postpartum. However, in knockout mice lacking the oxytocin receptor, reproductive behavior and parturition are normal.
Anxiety. Evidence on the effects of 5-HTP for anxiety is unclear. Early research shows that taking 25-150 mg of 5-HTP by mouth daily along with carbidopa seems to reduce anxiety symptoms in people with anxiety disorders. However, other early research shows that taking higher doses of 5-HTP, 225 mg daily or more, seems to make anxiety worse. Also, taking 60 mg of 5-HTP daily through the vein does not reduce anxiety in people with panic disorders.
Wonderful column. My expertise is the psychology of risk perception, and I have done some reading on oxytocin and trust (not the kind you want to boost in a bar with Liquid Trust – you can the stuff with pheromones – to boost THAT kind of trust). It turns out there is a high concentration of oxytocin receptors on the amygdala, the area of the brain where fear starts. As oxytocin levels go up, the ability of the amygdala to be warry and more mistrustful goes down. I describe this in Ch. 3 of How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts. A few graphs of which are below. I wonder whether the influence of oxytocin on the amygdala might be connected with the finding of the study you write about.
Ultimately, this lack of literature on the drug best serves to illustrate the recklessness of Stephen Dank in committing to something so experimental in nature. Perhaps he was privy to anecdotal evidence the rest of us weren’t. The drug has been used by amateur athletes and bodybuilders, and reportedly in the equine industry. Nevertheless, any benefits are unsubstantiated, which lends to an exasperation shared by supporters as to why Dank would risk so much for a substance that potentially offers no advantage at all. As a supporter, I would have much preferred a drug that allowed us to hit a target inside 50.
If cupid had studied neuroscience, he’d know to aim his arrows at the brain rather than the heart. Recent research suggests that for love to last, it’s best he dip those arrows in oxytocin. Although scientists have long known that this hormone is essential for monogamous rodents to stay true to their mates, and that it makes humans more trusting toward one another, they are now finding that it is also crucial to how we form and maintain romantic relationships.
Six hours later, the mice were returned to cages with the aggressive mice. The mice that were missing their oxytocin receptors didn't appear to remember the aggressive mice and show any fear. Conversely, when mice with increased numbers of oxytocin receptors were reintroduced to the aggressive mice, they showed an intense fear reaction and avoided the aggressive mice.
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The enzyme dopamine decarboxylase (aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase) mediates the conversion of 5-HTP into serotonin, and this enzyme is expressed in stomach tissue. Inhibition of this enzyme in the stomach during 5-HTP ingestion is thought to promote the concentration of 5-HTP that reaches neural tissue, which is supported by a study using 100-200mg Carbidopa (pharmaceutical inhibitor) alongside 5-HTP to increase radioactivity of 5-HTP (indicative of neural accumulation) in humans.
Melanotan II is a synthetic analogue of the α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH). α-MSH is a melanocortin I receptor agonist which has a role in human pigmentation by stimulating production of eumelanin. Melanotan II was originally developed as a treatment for sexual dysfunction. However, the proposal was abandoned when development of the metabolite bremelanotide was established.
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.
Melanotan II has reported toxicity effects from therapeutic and overdose exposures including: renal dysfunction, rhabdomyolysis, sympathomimetic overdrive, change in size and pigmentation of pre-existing moles, rapid increase in the number of new moles associated with causing melanomas, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, refractory priapism, stretching and yawning syndrome, shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal cramping and pain, dizziness and lethargy. XXXXXX alone has received 28 calls about melanotan II since 2006.
Thymosin beta 4, developed by RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals as a pharmaceutical for the healing of wounds, is a synthetic version of the natural peptide. As Dr. Allan Goldstein emphasizes, “Tb4 represents a new class of wound healing compounds. It is not a growth factor or cytokine, but rather exhibits a number of physiological properties which include the ability to sequester and regulate actin, its potent chemotactic properties. . . and its capability to downregulate a number of inflammatory cytokines that are present in chronic wounds.” When a wound heals there are many growth factors produced in the area so that additional factors, such as those currently on the market for wound healing, may help but are not necessarily lacking. Tb4 treatment, however, adds a new dimension to wound repair by providing cells with actin as needed, for cell migration, replication and differentiation.
The vascular system in the normal adult brain is stable, but is activated in response to certain pathological conditions including injuries.68 Von Willebrand factor (vWF) staining has been used to identify vascular structure in the brain after TBI.69 TBI alone significantly increased vascular density in the injured cortex, CA3, and DG of the ipsilateral hemisphere when examined at day 35 after TBI compared to sham controls.18,34,64,65 Tβ4 treatment significantly increased the vascular density in these regions compared to saline treatment.34 This is in agreement with in vitro and in vivo pro-angiogenic effect of Tβ4.70,71
Humans are social animals. Our individual prospects depend to a significant degree on the prospects of the group(s) to which we belong, and how well we get along with the group(s). Survival means being acutely sensitive to who is on our side and who is not. So it isn’t surprising that trust matters so much to how we go about protecting ourselves. And it isn’t surprising to find the instinct for trust rooted deep in the brain.
Drug interaction: Impact on effects of alcohol and other drugs: According to several studies in animals, oxytocin inhibits the development of tolerance to various addictive drugs (opiates, cocaine, alcohol), and reduces withdrawal symptoms. MDMA (ecstasy) may increase feelings of love, empathy, and connection to others by stimulating oxytocin activity primarily via activation of serotonin 5-HT1A receptors, if initial studies in animals apply to humans. The anxiolytic Buspar (buspirone) may produce some of its effects via 5-HT1A receptor-induced oxytocin stimulation as well.
Oxytocin has been shown to help people with autism improve their ability to recognize emotion, and Wallum found that the same receptor variant that increases risk for marital crisis in women is linked to social problems in girls. These include trouble getting along with others and a preference for being alone. This and Feldman’s work on oxytocin’s importance for the mother–child bond suggests that the hormone is more involved in the communication component of love between couples than the romantic component of love.
But we have to be just as good at recognizing who we can trust, so the system needs fine-tuned control. That’s apparently where oxytocin comes in. The amygdala, that critical organ for our biological risk response, has a high concentration of receptors for oxytocin. In the second set of those gambling experiments with the volunteers and the trustees, researchers used fMRI to watch the brains of the volunteers as they made their choices. As the levels of oxytocin in the brain went up compared with the placebo group, activity in the amygdala went down! Oxytocin diminishes the amygdala’s ability to send out the message “Warning! Warning! I don’t trust this guy.”
Total RNA was extracted from cells using Trizol (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA, USA) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Reverse-transcription (RT)-PCR was performed using oligo deoxythymidine primer (Roche Diagnostics, Mannheim, Germany) in 20 μl volumes at 42°C for 60 min. The RT-PCR reaction was done with 1 μg of total RNA, 1 μl of 20 μM oligo dT primer, and 18 μl of reaction mixture by AccuPower RT/PCR PreMix (Bioneer, Daejeon, Korea). Then, PCR was performed in a 20 μl total mixture volume for 25 cycles at 95°C for 1 min, 55°C for 1 min, and 72°C for 1 min. Primer sequences are detailed in Table 1. PCR products were subjected to electrophoresis on 1.5% agarose gels and visualized with ethidium bromide.
On the most basic level, a peptide is essentially a small protein. Billions of unique peptides exist, all with different effects and functions in the body. Physiological examples include insulin, oxytocin, and casein, the main protein in milk. Thus, to taunt Essendon supporters for the use of “peptides” is rather non-specific. A much more intelligent insult would be to focus on the administration of thymosin beta-4.
Second, 5-HTP can cause serious drug interactions with many medications, especially those used to treat depression. Because antidepressants generally work by increasing serotonin in the brain, 5-HTP could combine with these medications to cause high concentrations of serotonin. Having too much serotonin can lead to serotonin syndrome, a serious condition characterized by dangerously high heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. 5-HTP can interact with other classes of drugs, like migraine and pain medications, that also affect serotonin concentrations.
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.
At least one study has actively differentiated between 'an increase in satiety' (sensation of fullness from food) and a 'decrease in appetite' (less desire to eat) and noted that 5-HTP causes an increase in satiety without a concomitant decrease in appetite. Additionally, most studies are in exclusively females which may have more significance with interventions pertaining to serotonin metabolism; only one study mentioned above was conducted in men as well but appears to suggest that it benefits both genders.
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In another study, published in PNAS in 2010, men were given a dose of oxytocin and asked to write about their mothers. Those with secure relationships described their moms as more caring after the hormone dose. Those with troubled relationships actually saw their mothers as less caring. The hormone may help with the formation of social memories, according to the study researchers, so a whiff strengthens previous associations, whether good or bad.
Hey Adrian, thanks for reaching out. Firstly, I am not a doctor and nothing I say should be taken as medical advice. For something like this I suggest you book a consult at ×