What is serotonin and what does it do? Serotonin is a chemical that transmits messages between nerve cells. Known as the happy chemical, serotonin plays a major role in the body by contributing to well-being, good mood, appetite, memory, and sleep. This article looks at what happens when a person is deficient in serotonin, and whether it can aid depression. Read now
In 1999 researchers in Glasgow University found that an oxidised derivative of thymosin β4 (the sulfoxide, in which an oxygen atom is added to the methionine near the N-terminus) exerted several potentially anti-inflammatory effects on neutrophil leucocytes. It promoted their dispersion from a focus, inhibited their response to a small peptide (F-Met-Leu-Phe) which attracts them to sites of bacterial infection and lowered their adhesion to endothelial cells. (Adhesion to endothelial cells of blood vessel walls is pre-requisite for these cells to leave the bloodstream and invade infected tissue). A possible anti-inflammatory role for the β4 sulfoxide was supported by the group's finding that it counteracted artificially-induced inflammation in mice.
While the structure of oxytocin is highly conserved in placental mammals, a novel structure of oxytocin was recently reported in marmosets, tamarins, and other new world primates. Genomic sequencing of the gene for oxytocin revealed a single in-frame mutation (thymine for cytosine) which results in a single amino acid substitution at the 8-position (proline for leucine).[117] Since this original Lee et al. paper, two other laboratories have confirmed Pro8-OT and documented additional oxytocin structural variants in this primate taxon. Vargas-Pinilla et al. sequenced the coding regions of the OXT gene in other genera in new world primates and identified the following variants in addition to Leu8- and Pro8-OT: Ala8-OT, Thr8-OT, and Val3/Pro8-OT.[118] Ren et al. identified a variant further, Phe2-OT in howler monkeys.[119]
Nature has been very clever in a way. Without oxytocin, you know, babies are what they really are - I probably shouldn't say this on TV - but noisy, smelly animals that don't actually do anything useful. And, um, that's what oxytocin does. It gives them a special salience, a special beauty and allows us to bond with these defenceless little animals.
In 1989, a nationwide outbreak sickened over 1500 people and caused at least 30 deaths in the US. The outbreak was characterized by severe muscle pain and high white blood cell count. The culprit was later determined to be tryptophan supplements made by a specific manufacturer that were thought to be contaminated. Shortly thereafter, the FDA recalled and banned all forms of tryptophan supplements. In the meantime, an alternative supplement called 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), which is a chemical byproduct of tryptophan, was introduced as an alternative and has since become popular.
Some differences in cardiac anatomy exist between mammals and teleosts. The zebrafish ventricle has a thin wall of compact muscle surrounding a much larger compartment of myofibers organized into elaborate trabeculae. It is intriguing that this structure is very similar to that of the embryonic mammalian ventricle prior to its septation and fusion of trabeculer myofibers into a thick, vascularized wall (Sedmera et al., 2000). That the mammalian heart has a more differentiated, contractile anatomy is apparent not only in gross cardiac structure, but also in cellular features. Teleost cardiomyocytes are 2–10 times smaller, mononucleated, have a greatly-reduced sarcoplasmic reticulum and lack the T-tubule system found in skeletal muscle and mammalian cardiac muscle (Farrell, 1992). One might speculate that the teleost heart is better designed for growth and regeneration, while the mammalian heart is better designed for sheer contractile force. Nevertheless, none of the mentioned differences between lower and higher vertebrate hearts preclude the idea that the mammalian heart could be stimulated to regenerate, especially if that regeneration is due to mobilization of a progenitor cell population.
When practicing deep breathing, focus on a calmer state of mind as you distract yourself from overwhelming thoughts and sensations. Sit in a quiet area and practice the following: Take a slow, deep breath through your nose, allowing both your stomach and chest to rise. Once your stomach is fully expanded, breathe out through your mouth, just as slowly as when you were breathing in.
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.

^ Jump up to: a b Hurlemann R, Patin A, Onur OA, Cohen MX, Baumgartner T, Metzler S, Dziobek I, Gallinat J, Wagner M, Maier W, Kendrick KM (April 2010). "Oxytocin enhances amygdala-dependent, socially reinforced learning and emotional empathy in humans". The Journal of Neuroscience. 30 (14): 4999–5007. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5538-09.2010. PMID 20371820.

Research in the early 1960s showed that in rats, administration of α-MSH caused sexual arousal, and work on this continued in many labs up through the 1980s, when scientists at University of Arizona began attempting to develop α-MSH and analogs as potential sunless tanning agents, and synthesized and tested several analogs, including melanotan-I and melanotan II.[6][9]

If you’re looking for hard proof that taking 5-HTP to lose weight works, we’ve got it: In a University of Rome study, obese women who took 5-HTP began eating between 1,000 to 2,000 fewer calories per day. And even as their caloric intake plummeted to a level that would leave many dieters irritable, serotonin was soothing these ladies — and not one reported hunger or diet crankiness. Further boosting spirits: The supplements quadrupled their weight loss, compared to folks given a placebo pill. “They ate a lot less than they normally would because it was easy for them,” Dr. Bhatia notes. Hearing about such an easy way to lose weight might be enough to inspire you to try the supplement for yourself. So, we went ahead and rounded up everything you need to know to get started.

Nolen, W. A., van de Putte, J. J., Dijken, W. A., Kamp, J. S., Blansjaar, B. A., Kramer, H. J., and Haffmans, J. Treatment strategy in depression. II. MAO inhibitors in depression resistant to cyclic antidepressants: two controlled crossover studies with tranylcypromine versus L-5-hydroxytryptophan and nomifensine. Acta Psychiatr.Scand 1988;78(6):676-683. View abstract.
Myocardial infarction and heart failure are severe causes for death in humans. Extracellular nucleotides (ATP and ADP) released at the site of myocardial damage induce thrombosis, apoptosis and necrosis. ENTPD1 (ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 1, CD39) rapidly hydrolyzes ATP and ADP to AMP. An in vivo myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury test in transgenic mice expressing human CD39 resulted in a decrease of the infarct size. The same transgene including the human CD39 cDNA driven by the murine MHC class I gene H-2Kb promoter was used for the generation of transgenic pigs via SCNT. Expression of human CD39 was detected on circulating blood cells and in myocardial tissue of the transgenic animals. After in vivo induction of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury, a reduction of the myocardial injury analogous to the results in the transgenic mice was found (Wheeler et al., 2012).
Naturalistic studies like ours can help unravel the evolutionary history and function of these hormones. Basically, the fact that hormone mechanisms have been tweaked during evolution suggests that the behaviors they promote have provided fitness benefits in the past. In this case, hunting and sharing meat must have increased men’s reproductive success.
20 patients (nine from the 5-HTP group and 11 from the Placebo group) completed the study. Brain tryptophan availability in diabetic patients was significantly reduced when compared to a group of healthy controls. Patients receiving 5-HTP significantly decreased their daily energy intake, by reducing carbohydrate and fat intake, and reduced their body weight.”
Plain sterile water is the most suitable diluent for TB-500. Alternatively it can be reconstituted with sterile saline (0.9% NaCl) or sterile bacteriostatic water (0.9% sodium chloride). Plain sterile water should be readily available to buy without prescription in any local pharmacy. Alternatively it can also be purchased online. It is even available on ebay.
The diverse activities related to tissue repair may depend on interactions with receptors quite distinct from actin and possessing extracellular ligand-binding domains. Such multi-tasking by, or "partner promiscuity" of, proteins has been referred to as protein moonlighting.[14] Proteins such as thymosins which lack stable folded structure in aqueous solution, are known as intrinsically unstructured proteins (IUPs). Because IUPs acquire specific folded structures only on binding to their partner proteins, they offer special possibilities for interaction with multiple partners.[15] A candidate extracellular receptor of high affinity for thymosin β4 is the β subunit of cell surface-located ATP synthase, which would allow extracellular thymosin to signal via a purinergic receptor.[16]
Treatment with thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4) reduces infarct volume and preserves cardiac function in preclinical models of cardiac ischemic injury. These effects stem in part from decreased infarct size, but additional benefits are likely due to specific antifibrotic and proangiogenic activities. Injected or transgenic Tβ4 increase blood vessel growth in large and small animal models, consistent with Tβ4 converting hibernating myocardium to an actively contractile state following ischemia. Tβ4 and its degradation products have antifibrotic effects in in vitro assays and in animal models of fibrosis not related to cardiac injury. This large number of pleiotropic effects results from Tβ4’s many interactions with cellular signaling pathways, particularly indirect regulation of cellular motility and movement via the SRF–MRTF–G-actin transcriptional pathway. Variation in effects and effect sizes in animal models may potentially be due to variable distribution of Tβ4. Preclinical studies of PK/PD relationships and a reliable pharmacodynamic biomarker would facilitate clinical development of Tβ4.

The expression of Tβ4 mRNA is cell cycle dependent and is highest at the G0/G1 transition and during S-phase (), and changes in the expression of Tβ4 appear to be related to cell differentiation. It has been reported that hepatocyte growth factor, nerve growth factor or fibroblast growth factor (FGF) can increase the level of Tβ4 mRNA () and, in addition, interferon treatment augments the transcription of the Tβ4 gene (). It has also been shown that increased Tβ4 expression in cancer cells promotes metastasis, possibly by increasing cell mobility.

At first, the mice showed an irregular smattering of neural impulses when they heard the baby's cries. Then, as the oxytocin kicked in, the signal evolved into a more orderly pattern typical of a maternal brain. The study showed in unusual detail how the hormone changed the behaviour of neurons1. “Oxytocin is helping to transform the brain, to make it respond to those pup calls,” Froemke says.
Oxytocin's story starts back in the early 1900s, when biochemists discovered that a substance from the posterior pituitary gland could promote labour contractions and lactation. When scientists later discovered the hormone responsible, they named it oxytocin after the Greek phrase meaning 'rapid birth'. Oxytocin is produced mainly by the brain's hypothalamus; in the 1970s, studies revealed that oxytocin-producing neurons send signals throughout the brain, suggesting that the hormone had a role in regulating behaviour.
While all of the effects described above certainly occur in response to oxytocin, doubt has recently been cast on its necessity in parturition and maternal behavior. Mice that are unable to secrete oxytocin due to targeted disruptions of the oxytocin gene will mate, deliver their pups without apparent difficulty and display normal maternal behavior. However, they do show deficits in milk ejection and have subtle derangements in social behavior. It may be best to view oxytocin as a major facilitator of parturition and maternal behavior rather than a necessary component of these processes.

Double immunofluorescent staining for BrdU (red, A) and NeuN (green, B) to identify newborn neurons (yellow after merge, C) in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus from rats examined 35 days after TBI. Micrographs (D) show location of DiI injection in the CA3 region (indicated by white asterisk). In the CA3 region, axons projected from granule neurons in the dentate gyrus will take up injected DiI to their cell bodies. Co-localization (merge, H) of BrdU-positive nuclei (green, F) within retrogradely DiI labeled (red, E) granule cells were examined at 35 days after TBI. Scale bar = 25 μm (C, H). Scale bar = 50 μm (D).

My mother was a mother of 6 born between 1948 and 1961. She was a great advocate for lots of cuddles and physical contact with all of her children (as was my dad). This included baby massage directly on the skin as she emphasised touch as being very important. She passed this knowledge onto me when I became an aunt and then a mother. I am very grateful to have had such a hands on, affectionate and intuitive mother as a role model.
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.
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.
Cells were pretreated with indicated concentrations of Tβ4 peptide for 2 hours and then incubated with 200 μM H2O2 for 48 hours (A, B). The mRNAs expression was examined by RT-PCR analysis. This data were representative of three independent experiments. The bar graph shows the fold increase in mRNA expression compared with control cells. * Statistically significant differences compared with the control, p<0.05.
We think that the most important region is the nucleus accumbens, which is kind of up here. The nucleus accumbens is where we can measure a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine when humans or animals take drugs or are exposed to other rewarding stimuli, such as sex. Or gambling, for example, or monetary reward activates the nucleus accumbens as well.

To investigate whether the newborn neurons generated in the DG are capable of projecting their axons into the CA3 region of the hippocampus after TBI, we stereotactically injected a fluorescent tracer, 1,1″-dioleyl-3,3,3″,3″-tetramethylindocarbocyanine methanesulfonate (Dil, Delta 9-DiI; AnaSpec, San Jose, CA) into the ipsilateral CA3 region (stereotaxic coordinates AP, -3.6 mm bregma, ML, 3.6 mm, DV, 3.0 mm, Paxinos and Watson, 1994) at day 28 after TBI. BrdU (100mg/kg, ip) was injected i.p. daily starting at day 1 after TBI for 10 days to label newly generated cells. One week after DiI injection (i.e., 35 days after TBI), the animals were anesthetized and sacrificed. Their brains were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde. The brain was cut into seven equally spaced 2-mm coronal blocks using a rat brain matrix. The brain blocks containing the hippocampus were processed for vibratome sections (100 μm) followed by BrdU staining. BrdU and DiI labeling in the hippocampus on brain sections was analyzed with a Bio-Rad MRC 1024 (argon and krypton) laser-scanning confocal imaging system mounted onto a Zeiss microscope (Bio-Rad, Cambridge, MA). Co-localization of BrdU-positive nuclei within retrogradely DiI-labeled granule cells was found, indicating that newborn granule neurons extend axons into the CA3 region that are capable of retrogradely transporting DiI from the CA3 to their cell bodies within the DG after TBI (Fig.2). This finding suggests that newborn granule neurons may be incorporated into functional hippocampal circuitry after TBI.
Jump up ^ PDB: 1HJ0​; Stoll R, Voelter W, Holak TA (May 1997). "Conformation of thymosin beta 9 in water/fluoroalcohol solution determined by NMR spectroscopy". Biopolymers. 41 (6): 623–34. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0282(199705)41:6<623::AID-BIP3>3.0.CO;2-S. PMID 9108730. The thymosin is β9, bovine orthologue of human β10. Stabilised by organic solvent, the structure was determined by NMR. (Free β-thymosins lack a stable fold in solution)
Serotonin syndrome (Serotonin toxicity) is caused by an excess of serotonin in the brain. It is most often caused by taking more than one Serotonin-enhancing substance at the same time, such as 5-HTP and an antidepressant medication. Symptoms range in severity according to the level of intoxication and may include increased heart rate, tremor, sweating, mental agitation, seizures, shock, organ failure and death (9).
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.[3] It plays a role in social bonding, sexual reproduction, and during and after childbirth.[4] 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.[5] This helps with birth, bonding with the baby, and milk production.[5][6] Oxytocin was discovered by Henry Dale in 1906.[7] Its molecular structure was determined in 1952.[8] Oxytocin is also used as a medication to facilitate childbirth.[9][10][11]

It has been reported that deficiencies in the amino acid tryptophan (precursor to 5-HTP) are correlated with depression, as evidence by serum tryptophan in depressed persons.[16][17] Decreased levels of tryptophan in the body can come from various means but are most likely caused by a diet lacking in the amino acid as substrate, or by upregulation of enzymes (most notably indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase(IDO) and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase(TDO)) that degrade tryptophan or direct it to paths that are not serotonin synthesis causing a relative deficiency.[18][19] These enzymes can be upregulated in states of chronic inflammation[18][20] and injection of some pro-inflammatory cytokines has been implicated in depression[21] and increasing the kyurenine:tryptophan ratio, which is indicative of IDO activity being increased.[22] The activity of tryptophan hydroxylase can also be further downregulated in cases of Magnesium or vitamin B6 deficiency, stress, or excessive tryptophan levels.[7]

Mouse BMMs were cultured with M-CSF (30 ng/mL) and RANKL (100 ng/mL) or CM collected from PDLCs for 5 days (A) and 60 minutes (B). The mRNAs expression was determined by PCR analysis (A). The phosphorylation of MAPKs (p38, JNK, and ERK), and activation of NF-κB were determined by Western blot analysis (B). Data were representative of three independent experiments. The bar graph shows the fold increase in protein or mRNA expression compared with control cells * Statistically significant differences compared with the control, p<0.05.

Outside the brain, oxytocin-containing cells have been identified in several diverse tissues, including in females in the corpus luteum[34][35] and the placenta;[36] in males in the testicles' interstitial cells of Leydig;[37] and in both sexes in the retina,[38] the adrenal medulla,[39] the thymus[40] and the pancreas.[41] The finding of significant amounts of this classically "neurohypophysial" hormone outside the central nervous system raises many questions regarding its possible importance in these different tissues.
Our research mainly focusses on this early social experiences that people have that can be positive or negative, and that can really shape our developing brain. There have been some very interesting studies, for example, with children that grew up in Romanian orphanages. And we know that that early start, where it's really deprived from social contact and physical contact, had a massive impact. So we see that oxytocin levels, for example, are much lower than we would expect in other kids.
Evidence accumulated over the past decades has overturned the traditional dogma that the adult mammalian brain cannot generate new neurons. Adult neurogenesis has been identified in all vertebrate species examined thus far including humans.44-49 Newly generated neuronal cells originate from neural stem cells in the adult brain. Neural stem cells are the self-renewing, multipotent cells that generate the neuronal and glial cells of the nervous system.50 The major function of neurogenesis in adult brain seems to replace the neurons that die regularly in certain brain areas. Granule neurons in the DG continuously die and the progenitors in the subgranular zone of the DG may proliferate at the same rate as mature neuronal death to maintain a constant DG cell number.51 Similarly, the newly proliferated cells from the subventricular zone migrate and replenish the dead olfactory bulb neurons.52 Here, we focus on DG neurogenesis which is important for spatial learning and memory. In normal adult rats, newborn neural cells migrate from the subgranular zone of the DG of the hippocampus into the granule cell layer and eventually become mature granule neurons.53 These new granule neurons extend axonal processes to their postsynaptic targets54-57 and receive synaptic input.58 TBI stimulates widespread cellular proliferation in rats and results in focal neurogenesis in the DG of the hippocampus.59,60 Some of the newly generated granule neurons integrate into the hippocampus. The integration of the injury-induced neurogenic population into the existing hippocampal circuitry coincides with the time point when cognitive recovery is observed in injured animals.44
I have taken BPC-157 in conjunction with TB-500 after reading about someone’s experience. I used the BPC-157 at an injury/inflammation site in my shoulder. I have a pain that came out of nowhere and has prevented me from doing bench presses mainly, and shoulder presses. I also got pain when I did external rotation of my shoulder. The BPC-157 gave me good results at 250 mcg twice daily intramuscularly. The pain is not completely gone but it has definitely lessened in severity. I don’t get any pain with a reverse grip press so I have been doing those with light weight and I can now do shoulder presses. BPC-157 really blew me away on how quickly it improved my gut status. For me it only took 4 days of orally dosing with 250 mcg. So I did both the oral and intramuscular daily for a month. Two weeks into the BPC-157 I ordered TB-500 and did 1mg per week subq in my thigh because I didn’t know about injecting intramuscularly at the injury site.
But what about the three-month warning? Dr Rush, while an advocate for the supplement, sees it as a short-term solution, and not something to rely on long-term, for good reason. "Technically taking 5-HTP alone can deplete important brain chemicals such as dopamine and adrenaline. While 5-HTP is aimed at increasing the amount of serotonin in the body, dopamine and adrenaline are also important for positive mental health states. In order to prevent the depletion of important brain chemicals, taking 5-HTP would need to be balanced with amino acids that support the production of dopamine and adrenaline." That's L-Tyrosine, which you eat in soy, chicken and beef, and can also be found in health food shops as a supplement.
Beta thymosins are a family of proteins which have in common a sequence of about 40 amino acids similar to the small protein thymosin β4. They are found almost exclusively in multicellular animals. Thymosin β4 was originally obtained from the thymus in company with several other small proteins which although named collectively "thymosins" are now known to be structurally and genetically unrelated and present in many different animal tissues.
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.[68] 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.[69] The anxiolytic Buspar (buspirone) may produce some of its effects via 5-HT1A receptor-induced oxytocin stimulation as well.[70][71]
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 compressing the areola and 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.
Growing up, Joe was plagued with a myriad of health issues such as gut problems, autoimmune issues, chronic fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, and general inflammation. Both conventional and alternative doctors weren’t able to help him, so he decided to fix himself. With lots of health questions and few satisfying answers, Joe decided to read every research paper he could get his hands on and conduct thousands of experiments on his own body in order to fix his health issues. Joe started SelfHacked in late 2013 when he successfully fixed all of his issues, and now it gets millions of readers a month looking to educate themselves about how they can improve their health. Joe is now a thriving author, speaker, and serial entrepreneur, founding SelfDecode & LabTestAnalyzer.