Once the baby is born, oxytocin promotes lactation by moving the milk into the breast. When the baby sucks at the mother's breast, oxytocin secretion causes the milk to release so the baby can feed. At the same time, oxytocin is released into the brain to stimulate further oxytocin production. Once the baby stops feeding, the production of the hormone stops until the next feeding.
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.
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.
TB-500 is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring peptide present in virtually all human and animal cells, Thymosin Beta-4. This potent peptide is a member of a ubiquitous family of 16 related molecules with a high conservation of sequence and localization in most tissues and circulating cells in the body. TB-500 not only binds to actin, but also blocks actin polymerization and is the actin-sequestering molecule in eukaryotic cells.
Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.
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.
Half the group of burned volunteers got a whiff of Eau de Oxytocin, half got a sniff of Eau de Placebo. Those who sniffed the oxytocin were more trusting and ready to invest with an anonymous trustee a second time than were the placebo-exposed subjects. And when they were asked “Do you want to try this again?” the oxytocin-treated volunteers responded more quickly than the volunteers who hadn’t gotten the nose full of Trust Spray.6
To investigate the effect of Tβ4 peptide on H2O2-induced signaling cascades, the activation states of three mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs; p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinase [JNK] and extracellular signal-related kinase [ERK]) as well as NF-κB p65 were examined in PDLCs. H2O2 treatment induced the phosphorylation of p38, ERK, and JNK MAPK(s) and the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 (Fig 5A). Treatment of cells with Tβ4 peptide blocked H2O2-induced nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 and phosphorylation of ERK and JNK (Fig 5B).
5-HTP increases a chemical in the brain. This chemical is called serotonin. Some medications used for depression also increase serotonin. Taking 5-HTP with these medications used for depression might cause there to be too much serotonin. This could cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.
Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.
It has been shown that oxytocin differentially affects males and females. Females who are administered oxytocin are overall faster in responding to socially relevant stimuli than males who received oxytocin. Additionally, after the administration of oxytocin, females show increased amygdala activity in response to threatening scenes; however, males do not show increased amygdala activation. This phenomenon can be explained by looking at the role of gonadal hormones, specifically estrogen, which modulate the enhanced threat processing seen in females. Estrogen has been shown to stimulate the release of oxytocin from the hypothalamus and promote receptor binding in the amygdala.
5-HTP has been investigated for its role in hot flashes as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) have been noted to reduce the occurrence of hot flashes and menopausal symptoms. In a study in menopausal females given 150mg 5-HTP daily (50mg taken thrice a day) for a period of one week failed to quantitivatively reduce the occurrance of hot flashes as assessed by a Flashmark Pro recording device.
Hypoxic heart disease is a predominant cause of disability and death worldwide. As adult mammals are incapable of cardiac repair after infarction, the discovery of effective methods to achieve myocardial and vascular regeneration is crucial. Efforts to use stem cells to repopulate damaged tissue are currently limited by technical considerations and restricted cell potential. We discovered that the small, secreted peptide thymosin beta4 (Tbeta4) could be sufficiently used to inhibit myocardial cell death, stimulate vessel growth, and activate endogenous cardiac progenitors by reminding the adult heart on its embryonic program in vivo. The initiation of epicardial thickening accompanied by increase of myocardial and epicardial progenitors with or without infarction indicate that the reactivation process is independent of injury. Our results demonstrate Tbeta4 to be the first known molecule able to initiate simultaneous myocardial and vascular regeneration after systemic administration in vivo. Given our findings, the utility of Tbeta4 to heal cardiac injury may hold promise and warrant further investigation.
Some work has pointed to a potential dark side to oxytocin. Carter's group found that a single low dose of the hormone given to baby prairie voles improved their pair bonding as adults, but that higher doses interfered with that behaviour — possibly because oxytocin started to activate other receptors16. And human studies have suggested that in certain contexts, a puff of oxytocin can cause people to be more aggressive in defending themselves against outsiders or competitors17. In patients with a psychiatric condition known as borderline personality disorder, a single dose of oxytocin has been found to hinder trust and cooperation18.
To prevent adverse effects, always consult your physician and pharmacist before taking any drug or supplement. Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all drugs you take, whether they are prescription, non-prescription, vitamins, supplements, or herbs. Be sure to read and understand the Drug Facts section of the product label before taking any medication, and never take more than what is specified by your doctor. Dietary supplements are drugs, so be sure to keep them out of sight and reach of children and pets.
Who is 5-HTP best for? Emotional eaters stand to benefit greatly, of course. So do carb addicts. Carbs help the body make 5-HTP — so when 5-HTP or serotonin are low, carb cravings kick in. Boosting 5-HTP with a supplement has been shown to slash carb cravings by more than 50 percent. And if a “fat gene” runs in your family, early evidence hints that this genetic tendency toward obesity is linked to “decreased activity of an enzyme that helps turn tryptophan into 5-HTP,” explains Michael T. Murray, ND, author of 5-HTP: The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity and Insomnia ($14.77, Amazon). Though more human research is needed, Dr. Murray believes 5-HTP supplements are a quick fix for the genetic glitch.
Romantic attachment: In some studies, high levels of plasma oxytocin have been correlated with romantic attachment. For example, if a couple is separated for a long period of time, anxiety can increase due to the lack of physical affection. Oxytocin may aid romantically attached couples by decreasing their feelings of anxiety when they are separated.
In regards to interventions, one study in treatment resistant depressed persons that combination therapy of 5-HTP with Carbidopa noted that 43 out of 99 (43.4%) patients improved with an average 200mg (variable 50-600mg) dosage of 5-HTP. It has been noted that since Cardidopa is a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor that can prevent metabolism of monoamines including serotonin that these results are unlikely to reflect monotherapy with 5-HTP, despite being within the 30-45% range sometimes seen with the placebo effect.
Doctors have noticed cancer patients have a higher amount of Thymosin in the affected tissues than other people. So in the early stages of research, doctors assumed that this meant Thymosin may cause cancer. After more research was conducted, it was discovered that the main action of Thymosin Beta 4 was to produce new white blood cells – so its presence in the body in the areas affected by cancer was likely not a cause of the cancer, but instead, a matter of “showing up” in the body where cancer lived to help the body mount an immune system response.
Monomeric β-thymosins, i.e. those of molecular weight similar to the peptides originally isolated from thymus by Goldstein, are found almost exclusively in cells of multicellular animals. Known exceptions are monomeric thymosins found in a few single-celled organisms, significantly those currently regarded as the closest relatives of multicellular animals: choanoflagellates  and filastereans. Although found in very early-diverged animals such as sponges, monomeric thymosins are absent from arthropods and nematodes, which do nevertheless possess "β-thymosin repeat proteins" which are constructed from several end-to-end repeats of β-thymosin sequences. Genomics has shown that tetrapods (land vertebrates) each express three monomeric β-thymosins, which are the animal species' equivalents (orthologues) of human β4, β10 and β15 thymosins, respectively. The human thymosins are encoded by the genes TMSB4X, TMSB10 and TMSB15A and TMSB15B. (In humans, the proteins encoded by the two TMSB15 genes are identical.) Bony fish in general express orthologues of these same three, plus an additional copy of the β4 orthologue.
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.
Despite this, Tβ4’s place on the banned-substances list is warranted. It reflects the possibility that the effects of the supplement may manifest as a tangible improvement in athletes. However, any time a journalist flippantly declares it “heals damaged tissue and speeds recovery”, it should be noted that such claims are a harmful distortion of the facts.
It turns out the love hormone oxytocin is two-faced. Oxytocin has long been known as the warm, fuzzy hormone that promotes feelings of love, social bonding and well-being. It's even being tested as an anti-anxiety drug. But new Northwestern Medicine® research shows oxytocin also can cause emotional pain, an entirely new, darker identity for the hormone.
Social behavior and wound healing: Oxytocin is also thought to modulate inflammation by decreasing certain cytokines. Thus, the increased release in oxytocin following positive social interactions has the potential to improve wound healing. A study by Marazziti and colleagues used heterosexual couples to investigate this possibility. They found increases in plasma oxytocin following a social interaction were correlated with faster wound healing. They hypothesized this was due to oxytocin reducing inflammation, thus allowing the wound to heal more quickly. This study provides preliminary evidence that positive social interactions may directly influence aspects of health. According to a study published in 2014, silencing of oxytocin receptor interneurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of female mice resulted in loss of social interest in male mice during the sexually receptive phase of the estrous cycle. Oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security when in the company of the mate. This suggests oxytocin may be important for the inhibition of the brain regions associated with behavioral control, fear, and anxiety, thus allowing orgasm to occur. Research has also demonstrated that oxytocin can decrease anxiety and protect against stress, particularly in combination with social support. It is found, that endocannabinoid signaling mediates oxytocin-driven social reward.
James Bates* who recently started taking it for panic attacks, said, "A friend who had anxiety recommended 5-HTP to me. I used to take beta-blockers and Valium but the doctors have got funny about giving them to me. I needed an alternative and didn't fancy getting back on Prozac. I've only been taking the supplements for a month but so far, it's helped a lot. I've only had two panic attacks, whereas usually I'd have four or five."
Affecting generosity by increasing empathy during perspective taking. In a neuroeconomics experiment, intranasal oxytocin increased generosity in the Ultimatum Game by 80% but has no effect in the Dictator Game that measures altruism. Perspective-taking is not required in the Dictator Game, but the researchers in this experimental explicitly induced perspective-taking in the Ultimatum Game by not identifying to participants which role they would be in.13
About ten years ago, psychology studies started to show that single doses of oxytocin, delivered through an intranasal spray, could promote various aspects of social behaviour in healthy adults. People who inhaled oxytocin before playing an investment game were more willing to entrust their money to a stranger than were placebo-treated players10. A dose of the hormone also increased the amount of time that people spent gazing at the eye region of faces11, and improved their ability to infer the emotional state of others from subtle expressions12.
What to know about hormonal imbalances While it is natural to experience hormonal imbalances at certain times in life, such as puberty, menopause, and pregnancy, some hormonal changes are related to underlying medical conditions. This article looks at the causes and symptoms of hormonal imbalances in men and women, as well as treatment and home remedies. Read now