Oxytocin and Stress

Neural Mechanisms, Stress-Related Disorders, and Therapeutic Approaches

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Clinical reports show that oxytocin (OT) is related to stress-related disorders such as depression, anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Two key structures in the brain should be paid special attention with regard to stress regulation, namely, the hypothalamus and the hippocampus. The former is the region for central command for most, if not all, of the major endocrine systems, and the latter takes a key position in the regulation of mood and anxiety. There are extensive neural projections between the two structures, and both are functionally intertwined. The hypothalamus projects OTergic neurons to the hippocampus, and the latter possesses high levels of OT receptors. The hippocampus also regulates the secretion of glucocorticoids, a major group of stress hormones. Excessive levels of glucocorticoids in chronic stress cause atrophy of the hippocampus, whereas OT has been shown to protect hippocampal neurons from the toxic effects of glucocorticoids. In this article, we discuss how neural and endocrine mechanisms interplay in stress regulation, with an emphasis on the role of OT, as well as its therapeutic potential in the treatment of stress-related disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroscience
Volume417
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019

Fingerprint

Oxytocin
Hippocampus
Glucocorticoids
Hypothalamus
Oxytocin Receptors
Neurons
Endocrine System
Poisons
Therapeutics
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Anxiety Disorders
Atrophy
Anxiety
Hormones
Depression
Brain

Keywords

  • anxiety disorder
  • apoptosis
  • depression
  • glucocorticoid
  • oxytocin
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Oxytocin and Stress : Neural Mechanisms, Stress-Related Disorders, and Therapeutic Approaches. / Matsushita, Hiroaki; Latt, Hein Min; Koga, Yuuri; Nishiki, Tei-ichi; Matsui, Hideki.

In: Neuroscience, Vol. 417, 01.10.2019, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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