Neural oxytocinergic systems as genomic targets for hormones and as modulators of hormone-dependent behaviors
Cabanac M
Pfaff DW, Ogawa S, Kow LM
Rockefeller University,
New York, NY 10021, USA.
Results Probl Cell Differ 1999; 26:91-105


At the molecular level, estradiol turns on the gene for oxytocin in a subset of paraventricular hypothalamic neurons and turns on the gene for the oxytocin receptor in other limbic and hypothalamic cell groups. As a result, oxytocin deposition, whose signal is transduced both through G alpha (q/11) and Gi to stimulate phosphatidylinositol turnover, facilitates electrical activity in certain hypothalamic neurons. Consequently, affiliative behaviors including those closely associated with reproduction--mating behaviors and parental behaviors--are promoted. One important aspect of this effect is the preservation of instinctive behaviors associated with reproduction, in the face of disturbances due to mild stress.
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