Oxytocin was also correlated with the longevity of a relationship. Couples with the highest levels were the ones still together six months later. They were also more attuned to each other than the low-oxytocin couples when Feldman asked them to talk about a shared positive experience. The high-oxytocin couples finished each other’s sentences, laughed together and touched each other more often. Feldman says it’s still not clear whether oxytocin was responsible for the stability of the couple’s bond six months later or if couples who weren’t as connected failed to trigger the oxytocin system.
Addiction vulnerability: Concentrations of endogenous oxytocin can impact the effects of various drugs and one's susceptibility to substance use disorders. Additionally, bilateral interactions with numerous systems, including the dopamine system, Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and immune system, can impact development of dependence. The status of the endogenous oxytocin system might enhance or reduce susceptibility to addiction through its interaction with these systems. Individual differences in the endogenous oxytocin system based on genetic predisposition, gender and environmental influences, may therefore affect addiction vulnerability. Oxytocin may be related to the place conditioning behaviors observed in habitual drug abusers.
Synthetic oxytocin is sold as medication under the trade names Pitocin and Syntocinon and also as generic oxytocin. Oxytocin is destroyed in the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore must be administered by injection or as nasal spray. Oxytocin has a half-life of typically about three minutes in the blood. Oxytocin given intravenously does not enter the brain in significant quantities - it is excluded from the brain by the blood-brain barrier. There is no evidence for significant CNS entry of oxytocin by nasal spray. Oxytocin nasal sprays have been used to stimulate breastfeeding but the efficacy of this approach is doubtful.
Studies of oxytocin also have found that it is an important chemical messenger that controls some human behaviors and social interaction. It is oxytocin that triggers the bond between a mother and an infant, and it may also play a role in recognition, sexual arousal, trust, and anxiety. Some research shows that the hormone may affect addiction and stress as well.
The full-length Tβ4 polypeptide has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation . It is also reported that only the 4-AA, amino-terminal peptide of Tβ4, known as Ac-SDKP, can block inflammation . In this study, we used a synthetically human peptide produced copy of a naturally occurring, highly conserved 43-amino acid (MW = 4964 Da) water soluble acidic peptide, originally isolated from bovine thymus tissue . This peptide is produced by Fmoc solid-phase peptide synthesis in accordance with the current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations (21 CFR 210 and 211) of the FDA . An effective healer, Tβ4 can be administered topically on the surface of cells and systemically, through injection [9–11]. In this study, Tβ4 activation by Tβ4 peptide inhibited H2O2-induced production of NO and PGE2, expression of COX-2 and iNOS, and mRNA expression of TNF- α, IL-1β, -6, -8, and -17 in cultured PDLCs. These findings suggested that Tβ4 activation possessed anti-inflammatory activity in PDLCs. These results were consistent with previous in vivo and in vitro studies [9–15]. MAPK is a proline-directed serine/threonine kinase consisting of three-enzyme modules; its targets, inducing ERK, JNK and p38 kinases, are important in cellular signal transduction pathways and exert an anti-inflammatory response [48, 49]. NF-κB is a major transcription factor involved in the release of proteins that mediate the inflammatory response, and the degradation and phosphorylation of Iκ-Bα are necessary to release NF-κB from the cytoplasmic NF-κB/Iκ-Bα complex and allow its subsequent translocation to the nucleus of the cell . In this study, Tβ4 peptide down-regulated the H2O2-triggered activation of the ERK and JNK MAPKs and the NF-κB in PDLCs. These results suggested that the ERK and JNK MAPKs and the NF-κB pathway may be involved in the anti-inflammatory effects of Tβ4 activation in PDLCs. Consistent with our findings, Tβ4 treatment decreased TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation in human corneal epithelial cells .
Liver fibrosis, a major characteristic of chronic liver disease, is inappropriate tissue remodeling caused by prolonged parenchymal cell injury and inflammation. During liver injury, hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) undergo transdifferentiation from quiescent HSCs into activated HSCs, which promote the deposition of extracellular matrix proteins, leading to liver fibrosis. Thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4), a major actin-sequestering protein, is the most abundant member of the highly conserved β-thymosin family and controls cell morphogenesis and motility by regulating the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton. Tβ4 is known to be involved in various cellular responses, including antiinflammation, wound healing, angiogenesis, and cancer progression. Emerging evidence suggests that Tβ4 is expressed in the liver; however, its biological roles are poorly understood. Herein, we introduce liver fibrogenesis and recent findings regarding the function of Tβ4 in various tissues and discuss the potential role of Tβ4 in liver fibrosis with a special focus on the effects of exogenous and endogenous Tβ4. Recent studies have revealed that activated HSCs express Tβ4 in vivo and in vitro. Treatment with the exogenous Tβ4 peptide inhibits the proliferation and migration of activated HSCs and reduces liver fibrosis, indicating it has an antifibrotic action. Meanwhile, the endogenously expressed Tβ4 in activated HSCs is shown to promote HSCs activation. Although the role of Tβ4 has not been elucidated, it is apparent that Tβ4 is associated with HSC activation. Therefore, understanding the potential roles and regulatory mechanisms of Tβ4 in liver fibrosis may provide a novel treatment for patients.
Osteoclast differentiation was assessed by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining and activity. After 5 days of culture, cells were stained for TRAP kit using a leukocyte acid phosphatase kit (Sigma Aldrich, St Louis, MO, USA). Cells with three or more nuclei were counted as multinucleated mature osteoclasts. To measure TRAP activity, cells were fixed with 10% formalin for 10 min and 95% ethanol for 1 min, and then 100 μl of citrate buffer (50 mM, pH 4.6) containing 10 mM sodium tartrate and 5 mM p-nitrophenylphosphate (Sigma-Aldrich) was added to the wells containing fixed cells in the 48-well plates. After incubation for 1 h, enzyme reaction mixtures in the wells were transferred to new plates containing an equal volume of 0.1 N NaOH. Absorbance was measured at 410 nm using a microplate reader.
MAPKs and NF-κB played pivotal roles in the development of osteoclasts downstream of RANK signaling . In this study, we demonstrated that Tβ4 activation by Tβ4 peptide inhibited RANKL-induced p38, ERK, JNK MAPK, and NF-κB signaling pathways. These results suggested that Tβ4 activation might inhibit osteoclast differentiation via inhibition of the signaling cascades MAPK/NF-κB/NFATc1.
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Oxytocin (Oxt; /ˌɒksɪˈtoʊsɪn/) is a peptide hormone and neuropeptide. Oxytocin is normally produced by the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary. It plays a role in social bonding, sexual reproduction, and during and after childbirth. Oxytocin is released into the bloodstream as a hormone in response to stretching of the cervix and uterus during labor and with stimulation of the nipples from breastfeeding. This helps with birth, bonding with the baby, and milk production. Oxytocin was discovered by Henry Dale in 1906. Its molecular structure was determined in 1952. Oxytocin is also used as a medication to facilitate childbirth.
The short half-life (<2h) of 5-HTP may inherently limit the therapeutic potential of 5-HTP, as the systemic 5-HTP exposure levels will fluctuate substantially, even with relatively frequent dosing. Such exposure fluctuations are usually associated with increased adverse event burden, resulting from Cmax drug spikes, and decreased clinical efficacy resulting from sub-therapeutic exposure for large parts of the day. It has been proposed that 5-HTP dosage forms achieving prolonged delivery would be more effective, as is generally the situation with short-acting active pharmaceutical ingredients.