In the hypothalamus, oxytocin is made in magnocellular neurosecretory cells of the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei, and is stored in Herring bodies at the axon terminals in the posterior pituitary. It is then released into the blood from the posterior lobe (neurohypophysis) of the pituitary gland. These axons (likely, but dendrites have not been ruled out) have collaterals that innervate neurons in the nucleus accumbens, a brain structure where oxytocin receptors are expressed.[31] The endocrine effects of hormonal oxytocin and the cognitive or behavioral effects of oxytocin neuropeptides are thought to be coordinated through its common release through these collaterals.[31] Oxytocin is also produced by some neurons in the paraventricular nucleus that project to other parts of the brain and to the spinal cord.[32] Depending on the species, oxytocin receptor-expressing cells are located in other areas, including the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.
Melanotan II is a synthetic hormone that speeds up the production of melanin, the pigment that absorbs ultraviolet radiation and gives skin its colour. It was originally developed as a potential treatment for female sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction, but this research ceased in 2003. In technical terms, Melanotan II is a synthetic analogue of the peptide hormone α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH). Today, there are numbers of sellers on the internet of unlicensed and untested powders sold as Melanotan II.
Tb4 has other effects that are needed in healing and repair of damaged tissue. It is a chemo-attractant for cells, stimulates new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis), downregulates cytokines and reduces inflammation, thus protecting newly formed tissue from damaging inflammatory events. Tb4 has been shown to reduce free radical levels (with similar efficiency as superoxide dismutase), decrease lipid peroxidation, inhibit interleukin 1 and other cytokines, and decrease inflammatory thromboxane (TxB2) and prostaglandin (PGF2 alpha).
But this isn’t the only study to show the subtle side of oxytocin. Just three months ago, I wrote about research from Heejung Kim at the University of California, which showed how oxytocin’s effects vary across different cultures. To fulfil its many roles, oxytocin has to dock at a protein called the ‘oxytocin receptor’, encoded by a gene called OXTR.

I’ve been on this stuff for lots of years. I really needed it when I was depressed like hell, and I had an emotional pain that simply didn’t go away for 2 decades prior to starting that stack. Did it help? yes. Was it the best intervention possible? probably not. I was able to get off all this stuff with the uridine stack, and I believe it partly fixed a part of my brain that was damaged from this decade long suffering. So this is, why I am now more into brain regeneration and psychotherapeutic interventions (even though I do them myself), and I would only go back to this stack if I was completely fucked up again. There are a lot of side effects, and its a fine line to balance the supplements, to get rid of the side effects…
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).
The potential of Tb4 to repair sun damaged and aging skin is yet to be established by extensive studies. Many of the biological events that occur in wounding are involved in skin impaired by sun and aging. Ultraviolet radiation damage or other injuries to skin that are associated with aging may be in the future repairable with Tb4, similar to the success with wound repair. It is a hopeful prediction that this small anti-inflammatory molecule, which plays a vital role in regeneration, remodeling and healing of damaged tissues, would help rejuvenate aging skin. The effects of Tb4 in accelerating wound repair are important following surgery; Tb4 would then have practical applications following cosmetic surgery, a procedure growing in popularity in our society, in dealing with aging skin.

“The study was double-blinded and was for two consecutive 6-wk periods. No diet was prescribed during the first period, a 5040-kJ/d diet was recommended for the second. Significant weight loss was observed in 5-HTP-treated patients during both periods. A reduction in carbohydrate intake and a consistent presence of early satiety were also found. These findings together with the good tolerance observed suggest that 5-HTP may be safely used to treat obesity.”
Oxytocin production is controlled by a positive feedback mechanism. This mechanism allows the release of the oxytocin hormone when a trigger occurs. The hormone then causes an action in the body, such as the letdown of milk or the start of labor contractions, which signals more production of oxytocin. The feedback cycle continues until the action, such as childbirth or feeding the baby, is complete.
Astrocytes constitute the largest population of cells in the central nervous system, constituting approximately 90% of human parenchymal cells. Astrocytes are highly responsive to injury, undergoing rapid hyperplasia and hypertrophy. Astrocytes act as physical and biochemical barriers to axonal regeneration by forming glial scars along ischemic lesions and producing axonal growth-inhibitory proteoglycans. Administration of MSCs significantly attenuates the glial scar in the ischemic boundary and reduces expression of inhibitory proteins, such as Nogo. Analysis of single-cell astrocytes isolated from the ischemic boundary by laser capture microdissection reveals that administration of MSCs dramatically down regulates neurocan, an axonal growth-inhibitory proteoglycan. Coculture of MSCs with astrocytes also substantially reduces neurocan expression in astrocytes activated by oxygen glucose deprivation. These findings suggest that injected MSCs reduce physical and biochemical barriers of astrocytes, which also contribute to axonal and neurite outgrowth.
There have been encouraging results for the use of Tβ4 as a topical gel to treat venous stasis ulcers, a type of wound that develops on the lower leg of patients with chronic vascular disease. Two other reports indicated that Tβ4, formulated in eye-drops, may enhance corneal wound healing in diabetic patients, and improve ocular discomfort. These are the most advanced trials to date. As of yet, despite promising animal models, there has been no significant study exploring the efficacy of intravenous Tβ4 injections in treating ischemic heart injury.
This current literature is notable for its apparent irrelevancy to an AFL footballer. It begs the question; did Tβ4 make a difference to the Essendon players? The only honest answer is that we don’t know. Most of our understanding exists on a molecular and cellular level, without any significant appreciation of how Tβ4 influences applicable outcomes such as exercise performance, endurance, muscle strength, and time to recovery. Furthermore, as the majority of research has been performed on mice, rat and pig models, any results are not directly translatable to a human, let alone an elite athlete. This is a stark contrast to a supplement such as EPO, which has been investigated thoroughly.
One way to clarify that question is to give individuals oxytocin rather than just measure naturally occurring levels. In experiments by couple therapist and researcher Beate Ditzen at the University of Zurich, couples each sprayed a liquid containing oxytocin up their noses (which ensures that the hormone reaches the brain). Ditzen then got them to talk with each other about an issue that both partners said often lead to disagreement or fighting, such as who did the housework or how they spent their free time. She observed how they communicated with each other during the discussion compared with couples who didn’t get the hormone.

“The study was double-blinded and was for two consecutive 6-wk periods. No diet was prescribed during the first period, a 5040-kJ/d diet was recommended for the second. Significant weight loss was observed in 5-HTP-treated patients during both periods. A reduction in carbohydrate intake and a consistent presence of early satiety were also found. These findings together with the good tolerance observed suggest that 5-HTP may be safely used to treat obesity.”

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.
Kim found that when Americans who carry a particular version of the OXTR gene are more likely to turn to their friends for support when they are distressed. But Koreans react to social stress in a different way – for them, it’s less socially acceptable to turn to friends for support during tough times. And distressed Koreans who carry the same version of OXTR are less likely to seek support from their friends.
However, the Food and Drug Administration and its equivalents in other countries have issued repeated advisory notices about Melanotan II, urging consumers to stop using and purchasing this unapproved product. David Carter of the United Kingdom's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency was unequivocal in his denunciation, warning would-be buyers against being "fooled into thinking that Melanotan offers a shortcut to a more even tan." Liverpool John Moores University researcher Michael Evans-Brown cautioned that the peptide may be linked to dyspepsia and various cardiovascular problems, such as increases in blood pressure, while others have noted it appears to stimulate the growth of moles on the body.
Oxytocin production does not exist separately from the evolved neurophysiological mechanisms that regulate gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) pulsatility. There are mammalian pheromones that are known to directly influence the GnRH pulse, for example androstenol. Oxytocin is not considered to be a pheromone by anyone I know who is involved in olfactory research. Sniffing it is simply a delivery method that we now can see might have negative consequences.
I broke my neck this year at C6-C7 facets. Started taking TB-500 immediately following the accident. I don’t sit still well and was back in the gym almost immediately, simply to not go stir crazy and pump the blood anyway I could. 8 weeks later I was hitting bodyweight overhead squats for reps with the jerk, 0 pain and completely stable spine. I’m in my late 30s. I eat well, sleep well, and drink a lot of water. I doubt I would have been as well off, had I not taken the TB.
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
For depression: Most commonly, 150-800 mg daily is taken for 2-6 weeks. These doses are sometimes divided up and administered as 50 mg to 100 mg three times a day. Sometimes the dose starts out low and steadily increases every 1-2 weeks until a target dose is reached. Less commonly, higher doses are used. In one study, the dose is steadily increased up to 3 grams per day.
Advice & Tips: 5-HTP is a serotonin precursor. Serotonin is well-known as a hormone that affects one's mood in a positive way, but it is probably less-well known that it increases intestinal motility. It has worked magic for my symptoms. I am completely regular now, and the majority of my days are good days, whereas before I began taking it the majority of my days were bad days that began with symptoms of constipation and intestinal pain or discomfort. For me, at least, this is not a prescription. I began taking 5-HTP after my fiancee'--who had already been taking it to help her mood and, primarily, her difficulty sleeping through the night--learned it can be helpful when taken for gastrointestinal motility, and I began taking it myself shortly after that (and felt its effects almost immediately). Although not entirely unexpected, my slightly enhanced good moods are a nice side benefit of taking the supplement. I do get some very mild undesirable side effects, especially during mid-day when I take twice my morning and evening dose of 100 mg. Sometimes my face feels hot and flushes fairly noticeably--and this may be intensified with eating--but those symptoms subside within probably 30 minutes or less.
Maternal behavior: Female rats given oxytocin antagonists after giving birth do not exhibit typical maternal behavior.[59] By contrast, virgin female sheep show maternal behavior toward foreign lambs upon cerebrospinal fluid infusion of oxytocin, which they would not do otherwise.[60] Oxytocin is involved in the initiation of maternal behavior, not its maintenance; for example, it is higher in mothers after they interact with unfamiliar children rather than their own.[61]
Bone loss associated with inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, periodontal disease, and osteoporosis, and elevated osteoclast activity leads to bone destruction [1]. The most common osteolytic disease, periodontitis, is a multi-factorial irreversible and cumulative condition, initiated and propagated by bacteria and host factors [2]. Destruction of peridontal tissue is mediated via the expression of various tissue-destructive enzymes or inflammatory mediators such as interleukins-1 (IL-1), IL-6 and IL-8, tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF- α), nitric oxide (NO), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) [2]. Receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) are critical for homeostatic control of osteoclast activity, suggesting that they have vital roles in the progression of bone loss in periodontitis [3, 4]. Therefore, resolution of inflammation and blocking osteoclast differentiation might be a potential therapeutic approach for the prevention and treatment of osteolytic inflammatory disease, such as periodontitis [5].
In 19 obese females given either placebo or 8mg/kg (weight not actually given, only BMI between 30-40 for women) daily for 5 weeks without any concurrent dietary recommendations, 5-HTP treatment was associated with a decrease in appetite and food intake (resulting in weight loss) without significantly affecting mood state.[9] This study noted that food intake was reduced from an average of 2,903kcal to 1,819kcal (62% of baseline) while placebo only reduced calories to 80%, and the 0.5kg weight loss in placebo was outperformed by a near 1.5kg loss in 5-HTP. These weight loss effects have been noted with 750mg 5-HTP over 2 weeks in overweight diabetics[10] and over 12 weeks in obese persons given 900mg 5-HTP daily (58% of baseline intake); this latter study had a 6 week trial without a diet (in which significant weight loss was only noted at week 6) followed up by coadministration with a diet where weight loss proceeded to reach an additional 3.3kg over the subsequent 6 weeks;[11] this latter study is duplicated in Medline.[12]
For this study, one of us, Ben Trumble, followed Tsimane men as they went hunting for food. Typically, Tsimane men set out alone or with a partner in the early morning and search in the forest for prey such as wild pigs, deer, monkeys, or the rare tapir. Following long looping trails they might be gone for eight or nine hours, traveling about six miles (ten kilometers). Ben collected saliva samples throughout the hunt in order to measure changes in men’s hormone levels.
The soluble form of Ac-SDKP peptide, derived from thymosin beta-4, has been described as a natural inhibitor of pluripotent hematopoietic stem cell proliferation and as a stimulator of angiogenesis, both in vitro and in vivo (Koutrafouri et al., 2001; Wang et al., 2004). This peptide has been selectively bound to acrylated hyaluronic acid hydrogels via thiol groups from cysteine residues (Song et al., 2014). Unfortunately, the immobilization process was poorly characterized and the effect of hydrogels on EC function was not tested in vitro. In a mouse model of chronic myocardial infarction, hydrogels with immobilized Ac-SDKP did not show improved regeneration potential. Yet, Ac-SDKP-HA hydrogels with entrapped stem cell homing factor SDF-1 showed a significant increase of myocardial regeneration and recovery of heart function, as compared to groups with only one or none of these factors, suggesting a potentially interesting synergistic effect.
A Risk Quiz; Let’s say you are one of the volunteers to whom researchers gave $100, and this option: you can either keep the money, or give it to an anonymous trustee who will either invest it and double it to $200 and return half of the extra hundred bucks to you–$50–or keep all the money for herself. So you can either increase your money by 50%, or lose it all. What would you do? Would you trust that anonymous trustee? (Remember Loss Aversion from Chapter Two, where in a similar experiment most people decided to avoid the gamble and take the sure cash.)
So far, few studies have definitively linked autism to problems in oxytocin signalling. Some of the clearest evidence emerged in February, from a team led by neurogeneticist Daniel Geschwind of the University of California, Los Angeles. The group showed that mice that lacked a working copy of the Cntnap2 gene — which has been implicated in a small subset of human autism cases — had fewer oxytocin-containing neurons in the hypothalamus and socialized less with other mice than did control mice15. After receiving doses of oxytocin every day for two weeks, the mice behaved normally again. “Until this, there was no evidence that there was a subtype of autism that had to do with oxytocin deficits,” Geschwind says.
Bonding. In the Prairie Vole, oxytocin released into the brain of the female during sexual activity is important for forming a monogamous pair bond with her sexual partner. Vasopressin appears to have a similar effect in males. In people, plasma concentrations of oxytocin have been reported to be higher amongst people who claim to be falling in love. Oxytocin has a role in social behaviors in many species, and so it seems likely that it has similar roles in humans.6
Combined treatments of 5-HTP and SSRI seem to have strong synergistic effects on serotonin levels in rats and humans so that some clinicians recommend the use of slow-released 5-HTP in combination with SSRIs (R, R2, R3). However, additional clinical trials are required to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of this approach, and combinations of 5-HTP and medications should only be used under medical supervision.
Uterine contraction important for cervical dilation before birth and causes contractions during the second and third stages of labor. Oxytocin release during breastfeeding causes mild but often painful uterine 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 is normal.[4]

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. No effective pharmacological treatments are available for TBI because all Phase II/III TBI clinical trials have failed. This highlights a compelling need to develop effective treatments for TBI. Endogenous neurorestoration occurs in the brain after TBI, including angiogenesis, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, oligodendrogenesis and axonal remodeling, which may be associated with spontaneous functional recovery after TBI. However, the endogenous neurorestoration following TBI is limited. Treatments amplifying these neurorestorative processes may promote functional recovery after TBI. Thymosin beta4 (Tβ4) is the major G-actin-sequestering molecule in eukaryotic cells. In addition, Tβ4 has other properties including anti-apoptosis and anti-inflammation, promotion of angiogenesis, wound healing, stem/progenitor cell differentiation, and cell migration and survival, which provide the scientific foundation for the corneal, dermal, and cardiac wound repair multicenter clinical trials. Here, we describe Tβ4 as a neuroprotective and neurorestorative candidate for treatment of TBI.

Froemke's study1, published in April, showed that oxytocin temporarily suppresses inhibitory neurons — those that dampen neural activity — which allows excitatory cells to respond more strongly and reliably. “Our hypothesis is that the virgin brain is a blanket of inhibition, and that pairing the pup calls with oxytocin allows the network to be reconfigured,” says Froemke. The hormone may serve to amplify incoming signals and allow them to be recognized as behaviourally important. (It is at least possible, he says, that this same mechanism could explain why some human mothers feel they are uniquely tuned to a baby's cries.)
In 20 persons undergoing alcohol withdrawal taking 5-HTP (5mg) alongside Glutamine (150mg) and D-Phenylalanine (300mg) and some minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium, it was noted that after 40 days of nutritional therapy (in a hospital setting) that all withdrawal symptoms assessed via SCL-90-R except for anxiety noted a greater reduction with nutritional support relative to placebo.[1]
The relationship between oxytocin and human sexual response is unclear. At least two non-controlled studies have found increases in plasma oxytocin at orgasm in both men and women.[5][6] The authors of one of these studies speculated that oxytocin's effects on muscle contractibility may facilitate sperm and egg transport.[5] Murphy et al. (1987), studying men, found that oxytocin levels were raised throughout sexual arousal and there was no acute increase at orgasm. [7] A more recent study of men found an increase in plasma oxytocin immediantly after orgasm, but only in a portion of their sample that did not reach statistical significance. The authors noted that these changes "may simply reflect contractile properties on reproductive tissue."[8]
Because of its role in creating serotonin, 5-HTP is indirectly involved in producing melatonin, a hormone that is critical for sleep. Melatonin helps the body’s bio clock stay in sync, and regulates daily sleep-wake cycles. A strong bio clock and regular sleep-wake routines are the cornerstone of healthy, restful, rejuvenating sleep. Research suggests that 5-HTP may help shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and increase sleep amounts.