Establishment of maternal behavior: Successful reproduction in mammals demands that mothers become attached to and nourish their offspring immediately after birth. It is also important that non-lactating females do not manifest such nurturing behavior. The same events that affect the uterus and mammary gland at the time of birth also affect the brain. During parturition, there is an increase in concentration of oxytocin in cerebrospinal fluid, and oxytocin acting within the brain plays a major role in establishing maternal behavior.
The first bit of evidence that points to oxytocin as nature’s love glue comes from researchers who measured the hormone in couples. Psychology professor Ruth Feldman at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, spent years studying oxytocin’s role in the mother–child bond and recently decided to dive into the uncharted waters of romantic bonds by comparing oxytocin levels in new lovers and singles. “The increase in oxytocin during the period of falling in love was the highest that we ever found,” she says of a study she and her colleagues published in Psychoneuroendocrinology. New lovers had double the amount Feldman usually sees in pregnant women.
The tb-500 has a systematic effect regardless of where it is injected. Some believe that thymosin beta-4 should be injected as close to the injury as possible however there is no evidence to show this would be superior. It can be injected subcutaneously (stomach fat) or intramuscularly (shoulders, thighs, buttocks). Injections should be given in different sites (rotated) each time. Depending on the spot, you can either feel nothing or you can feel slight pain - you will learn your favorite spots in time.
The PDLCs were pre-treated with Wnt5a siRNA (30 nM) or Wnt5 peptide (500 ng/mL) for 2 hours, post-incubated with Tβ4 peptide (1 μg/mL) and 200 μM H2O2 for 48 hours (A-E), and then conditioned medium (CM) was collected. The bar graph shows the fold increase in protein or mRNA expression compared with control. * Statistically significant differences compared with the control, p<0.05. # Statistically significant difference compared with the H2O2-treated group. The data presented were representative of three independent experiments.
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.”
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In humans, the Tβ4 gene TMSB4X is localized to the X chromosome at Xq21.3–q22 (). The Tβ4 cDNA open reading frame contains an initial methionine codon followed by a codon for the N-terminal serine and, although cells secrete a certain amount of Tβ4, there is no hydrophobic signal sequence. The initial methionine residue of the nascent Tβ4 polypeptide is removed and the N-terminal serine residue is often acetylated in the cells.
Obesity. Early research suggests that taking 5-HTP might help reduce appetite, caloric intake, and weight in obese people. Other research suggests that using a specific mouth spray containing 5-HTP and other extracts (5-HTP-Nat Exts, Medestea Biotech S.p.a., Torino, Italy) for 4 weeks increases weight loss by about 41% in overweight postmenopausal women.
Another interesting agent reported to significantly accelerate chronic wound repair is infrared (700–1200 nm wavelength) and near infrared (600–700 nm) light delivered through lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) (Mester et al., 1968; Rochkind et al., 1989; Conlan, 1996; Schindl et al., 2000; Enwemeka, 2004). Spectroscopic measurements indicate that photons at wavelengths of 630–800 nm penetrate through the skin and muscles of the forearm and lower leg (Chance et al., 1988; Beauvoit et al., 1994, 1995). The effect of the light may be to stimulate cytochrome c oxidase in the mitochondria, resulting in increased oxygen consumption and production of ATP (Karu, 1999).
For now, Bartz isn’t sure why oxytocin can have such different effects. Her most educated guess is that the hormone triggers a biased trip down memory lane. Under its influence, people are more likely to remember information about their mother that fits with their current attitudes to relationships. If they are anxious, they’re more likely to remember the negative side of their early life. It’s a reasonable enough idea, and one that Bartz intends to test in the future. It will also be good to repeat the study in a larger group – 31 men make for a relatively small study.
Few forms of trust are more basic than that between a newborn and its mother. Scientists have discovered that this relationship is strengthened by the hormone oxytocin, released when the baby stares up at mom while breast feeding. Staring lovingly at your boyfriend or girlfriend can trigger their release of oxytocin too, as can warm physical contact like touching and hugging. (Levels increase during sex and peak at orgasm, which may help explain the age-old question “But will you love me in the morning, when your oxytocin levels have dropped?”) Oxytocin reduces stress in arguing couples, helps us recognize faces, even helps us look at a face (in fact, just a pair of eyes) and identify the mood that person is in. The stuff is magic.
FGF-2 and VEGF enhance angiogenesis in chronic wounds (Greenalgh, 1996; Kirchner et al., 2003). Thymosin β-4 increases angiogenesis, consistent with its ability to induce epicardial cells to differentiate into endothelial and smooth muscle cells of coronary vessels (Chapter 7). L-arginine enhances angiogenesis in chronic wounds by enhancing the production of endothelial nitric oxide and improving blood flow (Shi et al., 2003). L-arginine also plays a role in the formation of proline, which is essential for the structure of collagen molecules. ChrysalinTM, a synthetic peptide representing the portion of human thrombin that binds to the surface of endothelial cells, doubled the incidence of complete healing of diabetic foot ulcers in human patients (Fife et al., 2007). Another molecule used to treat peripheral artery disease, pentoxifylline, was reported to improve blood flow in chronic wounds by reducing blood viscosity (Falanga et al., 1999).
These studies demonstrate that in the animal model of TBI, early (6 hours post injury) treatment with Tβ4 i.p. at doses of 6 and 30 mg/kg reduces cortical lesion volume and hippocampal cell loss and improves functional recovery, suggesting its potential as a neuroprotective therapy for TBI. More importantly, delayed (24 hours post injury) treatment with Tβ4 administered i.p. at a dose of 6 mg/kg does not reduce lesion volume but significantly improves functional outcome in rats.34 Tβ4-induced angiogenesis, neurogenesis and oligodendrogenesis may contribute to functional recovery.34 Therefore, our data suggest that promoting endogenous neurorestorative processes using Tβ4 provides a novel therapeutic option for TBI. It should be noted that systemic administration of Tβ4 is safe and well-tolerated by animals and humans.26 Further investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying Tβ4-mediated neuroprotection and neurorestoration is warranted.
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 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.
Down syndrome. Some research shows that giving 5-HTP to infants with Down syndrome might improve muscle and activity. Other research shows that it does not improve muscle or development when taken from infancy until 3-4 years of age. Research also shows that taking 5-HTP along with conventional prescription drugs does improve development, social skills, or language skills.