Oxytocin Product Information
CHEMICAL MAKE UP
Molecular Formula C43H66N12O12S2
Molar Mass 1007.19 g/mol
- Its systematic name is cysteine-tyrosine-isoleucine-glutamine-asparagine-cysteine-proline-leucine-glycine-amide(cys – tyr – ile – gln – asn – cys – pro – leu – gly – NH2, or CYIQNCPLG-NH2).
- oxytocin disulfide
The word oxytocin was coined from the term oxytocic (used at least in the 1800s to refer to agents such as ergots that would cause uterine stimulation; Greekὀξύς, oxys, and τόκος, tokos, meaning “quick birth”) by chemists at Parke, Davis, and Company around 1927, two decades after its uterine-contracting properties were discovered by British pharmacologist Sir Henry Hallett Dale in 1906. The milk ejection property of oxytocin was described by Ott and Scott in 1910 and by Schafer and Mackenzie in 1911.
The nine amino acid sequence of oxytocin was elucidated by Vincent du Vigneaud et al. and by Tuppy in 1953 and synthesized biochemically soon after by du Vigneaud et al. in 1953. Oxytocin was the first polypeptide hormone to be sequenced and synthesized. Vigneaud was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1955 for his work.
PROPOSED APPLICATIONS (CLINICAL TRIALS)
Oxytocin (/ˌɒksɨˈtoʊsɪn/; Oxt) is a mammalian neurohypophysial hormone. Produced by the hypothalamus and stored and secreted by the posterior pituitary gland, oxytocin acts primarily as a neuromodulator in the brain.
Oxytocin plays an important role in the neuroanatomy of intimacy, specifically in sexual reproduction of both sexes, in particular during and after childbirth; its name comes from Greek ὀξύς, oksys “swift” and τόκος, tokos “birth.” It is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor, facilitating birth, maternal bonding, and, after stimulation of the nipples, lactation. Both childbirth and milk ejection result from positive feedback mechanisms.
Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin’s role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the “bonding hormone”. There is some evidence that oxytocin promotes ethnocentric behavior, incorporating the trust and empathy of in-groups with their suspicion and rejection of outsiders. Furthermore, genetic differences in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) have been associated with maladaptive social traits such as aggressive behaviour.
It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medications needed in a basic health system.
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