The Common Functions of Oxytocin

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Oxytocin is a hormone, predominately belonging to mammalian family; it is secreted by the posterior pituitary gland. After its release in the blood stream it cannot re-enter the brain due to the presence of blood brain barrier .Oxytocin is a hormone that has both peripheral and central actions (32). They are synthesized in the magnocellular neurons present in the supra–optic and Para –ventricular nucleus present in the hypothalamus. The universally known functions would include its role at the time of labour and ejection of milk. The functions which remain partially unknown are in erectile responses, ejaculation, bonding, and feeling of love and maintaince of eye contact during a conversation. This review is aimed at bringing into nutshell the common functions, defiency states and the commercially available forms of the same.

Key words:

Oxytocin, bonding, pitocin, labour.


Oxytocin is a mammalian hormone predominantly, in human beings it is synthesized by specialized cells in the supra optic and paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Oxytocin acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain (15). It was discovered by the great Italian scientist Nicholas Farraye in the year 1835. It has a molecular formula of C43H66N12O12S 2. The structure of oxytocin is similar to that of vasopressin but with a few differences.

Apart from the well known function of uterine contraction and milk ejection, oxytocin is said to play a major role in creating an effective bond between child and mother, in trusting people, maintain eye to eye contact during a conversation. Most of us regard Oxytocin to be a hormone which is found only in the female counterparts, fortunate...

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... Oxytocin, a naturally occurring hormone in the human body, is said and proved to produce many important physiological actions. Oxytocin when present in optimum level helps to maintain emotional homeostasis, pleasure, love, orgasm and also improves social memory and cognition. Deficiency of oxytocin in the amygdala causes anxiety and fear which are often found in conditions like autism and Schizophrenia. Deficiency of the same at the time of labour leads to uterine inertia and post partum bleeding. These complications are trespassed by the commercial availability of the hormone in various forms. The synthetically produced, oxytocin replacing hormones, pose certain potential threats to homosapiens.Thus further research is being conducted to coin substances that mimic the property of natural oxytocin and also discards the risk which occurs due to external intake.
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