Martin-Du Pan RC
Rev Med Suisse 2012 Mar;8(333):627-30
Oxytocin, an octapeptide synthesized in the hypothalamus, stimulates milk election and uterine contractions. In the brain this hormone acts as a neuropeptide. It could inhibit through the GABAergic system the activity of limbic amygdala, which is involved in the response to fear. Oxytocin could also induce the protective behaviour of the mother towards its offspring through the dopaminergic system. In mankind, oxytocin plays a role in trust, empathy, generosity, stress and sexuality. Clinical studies are testing potential benefits of oxytocin administration in autism, depression and social phobia. Results are still preliminary.