February 20, 2012
Image of Oxytocin 3D Image of Oxytocin

Oxytocin is a polypeptide secreted by the posterior pituitary gland of mammals. It has several hormonal functions, including contraction of the uterus during labor, lactation stimulation, and possibly orgasm. H. H. Dale discovered ocytocin’s biological properties in 1906; V. du Vigneaud received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1955 for isolating and synthesizing it. Synthetic oxytocin is sold under the trade names Pitocin and Syntocinon (and as a generic drug) for inducing labor.

MOTW update:
May 06, 2019

Oxytocin is a pituitary hormone that contracts the uterus during labor and stimulates lactation in nursing mothers, among other functions. Now, Haruhito Higashida at Kanazawa University (Japan), Satoshi Shito at Hokkaido University (Sapporo, Japan), and colleagues are exploring oxytocin derivatives to develop longer lasting, more potent drugs to combat autism and depression.

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