Balance of brain oxytocin and vasopressin

Function[ edit ] Vasopressin regulates the tonicity of body fluids. It is released from the posterior pituitary in response to hypertonicity and causes the kidneys to reabsorb solute-free water and return it to the circulation from the tubules of the nephron, thus returning the tonicity of the body fluids toward normal. An incidental consequence of this renal reabsorption of water is concentrated urine and reduced urine volume. AVP released in high concentrations may also raise blood pressure by inducing moderate vasoconstriction.

Balance of brain oxytocin and vasopressin

But since the s, vasopressin has been a hot topic in a very different field: And recently it has emerged as a possible target for treating autism spectrum disorders ASDwhich are characterized by social, behavioral and communication impairments.


The research is still in early stages, however, and has yielded more questions than answers. Given that one out of 68 children in the U. Vasopressin may be a key player in the disorder.

But scientists do not yet know whether too much or too little of the hormone—or perhaps some combination of both—is tied to autism. New clinical trials may yield insights. In fact, the two hormones are structurally very similar, and there are receptors in the brain that interact with both of them.

Balance of brain oxytocin and vasopressin

But high levels of vasopressin are also associated with anxiety and aggression. Intriguingly, some animal studies have found that higher levels of vasopressin increased aggression specifically in males. Vasopressin neurons in the olfactory system may modulate input, sending information about smells to behavioral areas of the brain.

Other senses also show connections to vasopressin, though they have been less thoroughly studied. For instance, some research found that people who received intranasal vasopressin showed an improvement in auditory recall.

This connection is relevant to autism because the condition can cause sensory overload and difficulty processing sensory information. The study found varying vasopressin levels in all three groups, meaning vasopressin by itself does not determine autism. Specifically, autistic children with low vasopressin levels performed poorly on this test.

Balance of brain oxytocin and vasopressin

In children without autism, low vasopressin levels were not linked to worse results. Stanford is now accepting patients for a clinical trial that administers vasopressin as a nasal spray to test the therapeutic potential. But other investigators suspect that increasing vasopressin has the opposite effect, worsening social function in people with autism spectrum disorders.

But as with vasopressin, it is not clear that more of the hormone is always better. This potential interaction deserves further study. Researchers also need to take into account that people with autism spectrum disorder vary widely in their degree of disability, she notes. Those with more mild cases can live fully independent lives, whereas those affected more severely need constant care.

And symptoms differ from person to person. How vasopressin and oxytocin factor into the many manifestations of autism remains to be determined. She holds a Master of Arts degree in journalism from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in anthropology from Princeton University, where she picked up a lot of funny nicknames.Balance of brain oxytocin and vasopressin: implications for anxiety, depression, and social behaviors Introduction As early as s, the pituitary hormones oxytocin (OXT) and vasopressin or arginine vasopressin (AVP) have been studied across vertebrates (Choleris et al, ).

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Balance of brain oxytocin and vasopressin: Implications for anxiety, depression, and social behaviors Article · Literature Review in Trends in Neurosciences 35(11) · September with.

Oxytocin and vasopressin are regulators of anxiety, stress-coping, and sociality. They are released within hypothalamic and limbic areas from dendrites, axons, and perikarya independently of, or coordinated with, secretion from neurohypophysial terminals.

Oxytocin, dopamine, and Balance. Oxytocin is secreted from the pituitary gland. Oxytocin receptors are found in many parts of the brain and spinal cord, including the amygdala and brainstem.

It's actions and biochemistry are too complex for the average reader. on how the hormones oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine, and prolactin track. Vasopressin, also named antidiuretic hormone (ADH), arginine vasopressin (AVP) or argipressin, is a hormone synthesized as a peptide prohormone in neurons in the hypothalamus, and is converted to AVP.

In non-human mammals, receptors for the neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) are distributed in various brain regions associated with the central nervous control of stress and anxiety and with social behavior, including parental care, pair-bonding, social memory, and social aggression.

Oxytocin, dopamine, and Balance | Reuniting